Ontarians support using LCBO for marijuana distribution, says poll

With marijuana legalization on the way across Canada, residents of its most populous province are in agreement on the need to minimize risks

by Leo Almazora

A Nanos Research poll conducted in partnership with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has shown that Ontarians are in favor of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) strictly regulating and controlling marijuana sales to keep it out of children’s hands.

The province-wide poll found that 41% of Ontarians picked the LCBO as their first choice for where legal marijuana should be sold. Those who did so cited reasons such as screening procedures that are already in place, the LCBO’s experience with regulated substances, as well as the controlled environment.

“People are clearly more comfortable with restricting marijuana sales to spaces that aren't frequented by children,” said OPSEU President Warren 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.”

More than nine out of ten Ontarians support or somewhat support mandatory ID checks for purchasing marijuana, and 29% believe that restricting underage access to pot should be the government’s number one priority in 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," observed 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?"

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