Half of Canadians polled support marijuana legalization

What Nova Scotia's political leaders are saying about regulating marijuana

As Canadians await an expected bill on the legalization of marijuana, a new poll shows the country sharply divided on the issue. 

Fifty-one per cent of Canadians said they were in favour of legalization in the online survey by NRG Research Group, compared to 33 per cent who said they were in opposition, and 14 per cent who neither support nor oppose the measure.

The poll, conducted between Feb. 23 and 27 with 1,000 respondents, showed support for legalization was highest in Manitoba (59 per cent) and British Columbia (57 per cent) and lowest in Quebec (37 per cent).

But while there was disagreement over the question of legalization, there was more cohesion on the question of what should be done if it came to pass: 63 per cent support a specific sales tax and 87 per cent believe sales should be "limited to adults in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco."

"It appears Canadians have an economic perspective in mind as they consider the issue of legalizing marijuana in the country," said Andrew Enns, President of NRG Research Group. 

Sixty per cent also believe that legalization would increase consumption among minors.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says new marijuana legislation should be ready by summer.