Ontarians want marijuana sales controlled through LCBO: Poll

“It just makes sense to have an adult-only space — after all, you should be able to send your kids to the store for milk without them running into a pot display.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (01 Sept. 2016) — Ontarians support the strict regulation and control of marijuana sales to keep it out of the hands of children, and trust the LCBO to do it following legalization, according to a new province-wide poll.

41% of Ontarians support selling marijuana in LCBO

The Nanos Research poll released on August 30 finds that more than 4 in 10 Ontarians (41 per cent) rank the LCBO as their first choice for where legal marijuana should be sold. The majority of these respondents cited the procedures that are in place and the LCBO’s experience with controlled substances, as well as the controlled environment, as their rationale.

“People are clearly more comfortable with restricting marijuana sales to spaces that aren’t frequented by children,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It just makes sense to have an adult-only space — after all, you should be able to send your kids to the store for milk without them running into a pot display.”

LCBO workers challenged 13.5 million people in 2015 and refused service to 346,000 of them

Additional findings further reinforce the importance of ensuring sales are not taking place in unsecured outlets. An overwhelming majority of Ontarians (93 per cent) support, or somewhat support, requiring ID checks to purchase marijuana, and nearly 3 in 10 (29 per cent) feel that keeping marijuana away from minors should in fact be the government’s number one priority when it comes to controlling sales.

“LCBO workers are experienced at ensuring that children, intoxicated adults, or others who shouldn’t be purchasing alcohol aren’t served. In fact, these trained workers challenged 13.5 million people last year and refused service to nearly 346,000 of them,” noted Denise Davis, Chair of OPSEU’s Liquor Board Employees Divisional Executive. “We have a system that we know prevents minors from buying alcohol. Why reinvent the wheel when the risks are so great?”

Preventing risk not the only concern

“When it comes right down to it, preventing risk is about more than just ensuring that children don’t have access,” added Thomas. “Like alcohol, pot can have serious negative social and health impacts if used improperly. As a society, we have a duty to protect those who are vulnerable and ensure that sales of these drugs are safely controlled.”

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