Saskatchewan Cannabis Legalization Survey Tainted?

Sep 22, 2017

Saskatchewan Cannabis Legalization Survey Tainted?

Government Half-Hearted Survey Has Leading Questions, No Identity Verification

As Provincial Governments across Canada prepare for federal cannabis legalization, Saskatchewan's government seems to be making a minimal effort to determine how the public wants to go about implementing the rules here.

The government launched an online survey on September 8, which will run until October 6. 

The survey, hosted by 'survey gizmo', can be accessed here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/public-consultations/cannabis-legalization-and-regulation/take-the-survey

While the site says the survey is open to people who are '18 years of age or older and are a resident of Saskatchewan, ' but unlike the comment sections of most news sites and blogs, there is nothing on the site to verify the identity and location of the user. 

The survey itself seems like it's been designed so that the results can be interpeted as support for anti-cannabis attitudes no matter how respondant's answer the question. 

Some of the questions in the survey are set up in a way that limits the site user's choices and forces them to acknowledge priorities they might not actually agree are priorities. 

For example, question 7: 

"7. Rank the following Government of Saskatchewan priorities in order of importance (1 being the most important priority and 4 being the least important priority):

Limiting the illegal cannabis market

Keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth

Protecting public health

Promoting safety on roads, in workplaces, and in public spaces"

So, no matter what order you put them in, the government can claim the survey 'shows people are concerned about _______' regardless of how they actually feel. 

However, it should be noted, there is a section near the end that allows the user to say what they want to in 300 words or less. 

Disclosure: Daniel Johnson is a long time legalization activist and organizer, former director for NORML Saskatchewan, and is still affilliated with the National Organization For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws

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