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Ontarians pick LCBO as top spot for legalized pot sales: poll

A new survey shows many Ontarians rank the LCBO as their top choice for where legalized marijuana should be sold.

The Nanos poll was conducted for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) which represents LCBO workers.

The survey found more than 40 per cent of Ontarians support legalizing the sale of marijuana in Canada and if it’s going to be sold recreationally, over 40 per cent think it should be sold at LCBO stores.

OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas agrees with the findings and believes recreational marijuana should be sold at the LCBO.

“The LCBO already sells a drug called alcohol, alcohol is a drug, and that was the deal with society way, way back when prohibition ended, was to sell it in a controlled way. So we just think it’s logical and safe for everybody to apply that logic to marijuana and sell it through the LCBO,” he said.

The poll found that an overwhelming majority of Ontarians (93 per cent) support or somewhat support requiring ID checks to purchase marijuana, and nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) feel that keeping marijuana away from minors should be the government’s number one priority when it comes to controlling sales.

Denise Davis, chair of OPSEU’s Liquor Board Employees Division, says the LCBO system works.

“We have procedures in place to ensure that alcohol doesn’t end up in the hands of children. Why would we reinvent the wheel when we develop a system to sell marijuana?”

Premier Wynne has long backed the idea of selling marijuana at LCBO stores.

“It makes sense to me that the liquor distribution mechanism that we have in place, the LCBO, is very well-suited to putting in place the social responsibility aspects that would need to be in place” to sell medical marijuana, Wynne said in December.

The survey found that over 30 per cent of Ontarians list pharmacies as their second choice for where legalized marijuana should be sold, while 16 per cent said it should be sold in privately owned marijuana stores.

These new numbers show a turning of the tide in public opinion on the matter.

A Forum Research poll conducted at the end of last year found 47 per cent of respondents surveyed said they disapproved the idea of selling the drug at the LCBO. Fifty-seven per cent were in favour of it being sold at specialized marijuana dispensaries.

There has still been no word as to when recreational marijuana will be legalized in Canada.

The complete poll can be found below:

Opinions on the regulation and legalization of marijuana in Ontario