Age limit, retail sales key in Sask. pot survey

By Sarah Mills/CJME News Staff
November 23, 2017 - 3:35pm

Saskatchewan residents appear to have a lot to say about the legalization of marijuana, according to the results of the provincial survey on pot released Thursday.

The government conducted the online questionnaire from Sept. 8 to Oct. 6, 2017, to collect insight from residents to help shape the laws around cannabis within Saskatchewan.

The online survey received 34,681 responses which is the most of any survey the province has previously conducted.

The questions covered topics around regulations such as age limits, enforcement of impaired driving laws, taxes, distribution and rules around where pot could be sold and grown.

The answers are being used to help guide Saskatchewan’s approach to legalization.

Top priorities identified by the government and respondents were keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth, followed by promoting safety on the roads, workplaces and in the public

While 63 per cent of respondents want a mix of retail and online sales, surprisingly 45 per cent want to see government run pot shops, similar to liquor board stores. About 37 per cent want small private business to sell marijuana.

Those who answered see staff training and not allowing minors inside to be key for those running a retail location.

Unsurprisingly most of the respondents want strict measures and enforcement for those driving while high.

“Marijuana impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, motor coordination, and ability to make decisions,” Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave, said in a news release.

“Survey respondents made it clear they felt drug use and driving should not mix.  The information provided through the survey is valuable to assist us in developing a plan to meet public safety expectations.”

But those answering the survey were more relaxed about who should grow marijuana and where it should be allowed to be grown.

The government is expected to release its marijuana legislation in the coming weeks.

The federal government announced pot will be legalized on July 1, 2018.

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