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The federal governments marijuana legalization bill is set to take effect in less than a year but the results of a recent survey show Manitobans are uncomfortable with key aspects of the looming legislation.
A CTV Winnipeg/Probe Research survey found Manitobans prefer tougher rules for marijuana than those currently in place for alcohol.
Asked if driving while under the influence of alcohol is worse than driving while under the influence of marijuana, 50 per cent of the survey’s respondents disagreed with the statement, with 31 per cent of respondents indicating they strongly disagreed.
Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they’re uncomfortable with bars selling marijuana in brownie or cookie form alongside alcohol. Of those, 35 per cent of respondents are strongly opposed to the idea. Most of those strongly opposed are over the age of 35.
The proposed federal legislation would allow adults in Canada to possess and use small amounts of recreational marijuana. It calls for a zero tolerance approach to drug-impaired driving as well as investments for licensing, inspection and enforcement and a public awareness campaign on the dangers of impaired driving.
The House of Commons health committee will hold a series of meetings next month on its study of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act.
The federal government has a July 2018 deadline to have marijuana legalized.
It will be illegal for anyone under 18 to buy marijuana but provinces can choose to set a higher age.
In a statement Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said the government’s Cannabis Harm Prevention Act, which was introduced and passed earlier this year, will get high drivers off the road and protect Manitobans from secondhand smoke.
The provincial government still has to determine how marijuana will be sold in Manitoba.