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EKOS poll results on capital punishment. ((EKOS))

Canadian opinion tends to be split on the issues of legalizing marijuana and reintroducing capital punishment, an EKOS poll released Thursday suggests.

Half of Canadians surveyed believe possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use should not be a crime.

Thirty per cent of those polled disagree with the statement, while 20 per cent were neutral. Agreement with the statement has increased by five percentage points since June of 2000 when it was 45 per cent.

Those who believe that possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use should not be a crime tend to be men (54 per cent), under the age of 25 (58 per cent), as well as supporters of the NDP (63 per cent), Green Party (59 per cent) and the Bloc Québécois (58 per cent).  

The same poll suggests Canadians are divided on the issue of capital punishment.

Forty-six per cent do not support the reintroduction of capital punishment while 40 per cent do. Another 14 per cent said they had no opinion.

Data from 2000 suggests that opinions on this issue have remained relatively unchanged in 10 years. In June of 2000, 43 per cent disagreed with capital punishment while 44 per cent agreed with it.

Those who support the reintroduction of capital punishment tend to be Conservative supporters (53 per cent), residents of Alberta (48 per cent), men (43 per cent), seniors (45 per cent), high school grads (48 per cent) and college grads (46 per cent).

"These indicators are interesting social barometers at any time but they become even more interesting in the current political context," said EKOS president Frank Graves.

In a YouTube interview Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he does not support legalizing marijuana.

A total of 2,302 adults were surveyed March 10-16 for the poll, which has a margin of error plus or minus 2.04 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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EKOS poll results on marijuana. ((EKOS))