Polls have showed for several years that most Americans want to see marijuana legalized. A new survey from Quinnipiac University suggests little has changed on that front.
The Quinnipiac poll, released in early June, found that more than half of registered voters in the United States, 54 percent, think cannabis should be legalized for recreational use across the country. Forty-one percent said it should not.
Millions of voters could decide in November whether to legalize the drug in their states. If the issue makes the ballot in California, voters there are likely to pass it, christening an unprecedented new market for legal cannabis. The Golden State is the eighth largest economy in the world.
Strong voter support in California
Statewide polls show legalization is increasingly popular among voters there: 60 percent say they want to legalize pot completely. Together with the new Quinnipiac report, this suggests support for legalization is only likely to keep growing across the United States.
As usual, the new poll showed a sharp partisan divide over marijuana reform. Among Democrats, 65 percent support legalization while 30 percent oppose it. Among Republicans, 36 percent would vote in favor of the idea while 62 percent would vote no. Among independents, 61 percent back the idea and 36 percent are against it.
Men are more amenable to reform than not, the poll found, with 60 percent for and 37 percent against; female respondents were much more evenly split, with 48 percent saying they support legalization and 46 percent saying they don’t. Like most recent polls on the subject, the Quinnipiac survey found younger voters more likely to vote yes: a majority of voters under age 65 support legalization, while 57 percent of older voters oppose the idea.
MMJ supported by greater margins
Medical cannabis got even stronger backing in the new poll, with levels of support so high they rival those of any popular political movement in recent history. Almost 90 percent of respondents said they favor laws that allows sick patients to use marijuana as medicine, with just 9 percent opposed. And 87 percent agreed government doctors should be able to recommend medical pot to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, compared to 9 percent who disagreed.
Four states already allow any adult use of marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, along with the District of Columbia. At least three more states could join that list, with legalization initiatives likely to reach voters in November. They include California, Maine, and Nevada, where legalization is already slated to appear on the ballot. Arizona, Massachusetts, and Michigan are also plausible targets for reform this year.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted during the last week in May and queried 1,561 registered voters across the United States. The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.
Leave a comment: Why do you think legalization is so popular in America? Do these numbers mean marijuana could soon be legal where you live?