Marijuana won't quickly become a popular vice in Manitoba, a recent poll suggests. On May 11, Forum Research released their stats from a poll that found drinking and gambling are far more popular vices than marijuana among Manitobans. But even though most weren't interested in using marijuana, they had a clear idea of where they'd like to see the province's cannabis supply sold. Much like Ontarians, they seem to favor the dispensary model that is popular in the U.S.
Of the 1,140 Manitobans polled, 56 percent said they drank at least once a month over the last year, and 32 percent said they had gambled at least once a month over that same timeframe. But only 18 percent said they used cannabis - or copped to using, as Lorne Bozinoff - President of Forum Research Inc. - told The Winnipeg Free Press.
"In Manitoba, not that many people are admitting to smoking marijuana. It is [a] quasi-legal thing, I say quasi because I am not sure people are enforcing the law that much, but the numbers look low to me."
Though not many people said they used marijuana, many residents had firm opinions of where they thought marijuana should be sold once the federal government legalizes recreational use. In total, 43 percent of respondents said they wanted a mixed model that allows provincial agencies like Manitoba Liquor Mart to share the market with private businesses like the dispensaries in Colorado. In contrast, 22 percent favored a public-only model while only 17 percent thought the private sector should handle sales exclusively.
The numbers are comparable to public opinion in Ontario, where Forum recently found that 52 percent of respondents to a poll conducted in April favored dispensaries while 38 percent favored letting the LCBO - Ontario's chain of government-owned liquor stores - handle sales. However, Forum has also found that only 19 percent of Ontarians admitted to using cannabis in the last twelve months, and only 23 percent said they would use marijuana if it became legal in the next year.