Most Canadians believe that the federal government should take action so that Marc Emery—who was jailed in the United States in September—can serve his sentence in Canada, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,010 Canadian adults, 54 per cent of respondents agree with the Canadian government approving a citizen transfer so that Emery can serve his sentence in Canada. One third (33%) oppose this course of action.
The highest level of support for allowing Emery to serve his sentence in Canada is in Atlantic Canada (65%) and Quebec (59%). The only area where a plurality of respondents disagrees with issuing a citizen transfer in this case is Alberta.
Men (59%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%) are more likely than women (49%) and respondents over the age of 55 (45%) to urge for a citizen transfer.
Emery was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. In May 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in a Seattle court. In September 2010, he was sentenced to five years in prison.
While 34 per cent of Canadians believe a five-year sentence is correct for this type of offence, 35 per cent believe it is too harsh and 19 per cent deem the sentence too lenient.
A survey conducted earlier this month showed that public support for the legalization of marijuana stands at 50 per cent in Canada. For the past three years, it has become clear that Canadians are decidedly more likely to seek different guidelines for cannabis than for so-called “hard drugs”, such as cocaine or crystal meth.
On this particular case, a majority of respondents suggest that the federal government should allow Emery to return to Canada to serve his sentence—a recommendation first issued by his defence team in September 2010 and which was met with the concurrence of District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez.
Mario Canseco, Vice President, Communications & Media Relations
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Methodology: From November 29 to November 30, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,010 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.