Despite claims that legal weed has damaged the quality of life in Colorado, most of the state’s residents say it has been good for the state.
A poll released April 28 by Quinnipiac University found 52 percent of Colorado voters feel the 2012 vote to legalize pot has been a benefit to the state.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the survey, said it shows voters are “generally good to go on grass, across the spectrum, from personal freedom to its taxpayer benefits to its positive impact on the criminal justice system.”
A majority of voters told pollsters they don’t think legal marijuana has made roadways more dangerous. And most believe it will save the state money and help the justice system.
Even so, most voters said they weren’t ready to back a regular pot smoker running for office. Fifty-two percent said they wouldn’t vote for a candidate who uses weed two to three times a week.
“If you are a politician, think twice before smokin’ them if you got ‘em,” Malloy said in a press release.
The only demographic groups who said legalization hadn’t been good for Colorado were older voters and Republicans. Nationwide, these are the voters most likely to oppose legalization.
The findings of the poll support those of another survey released in March. That poll found 57 percent of Colorado voters think cannabis should remain legal, while just 35 percent think it should be recriminalized.
Two thirds of respondents in that poll said legal marijuana had either made the state a better place or had made no difference. The remaining third said legalization had made the state a worse place to live.
Anti-weed forces have tried to point to Colorado as an example of everything wrong with legalizing weed, despite the fact that almost everything has gone right there so far. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has been at best cautious about legalization in his state, warned other governors earlier this year about looking to legal weed as a source of revenue.
“I don’t think governors should be in the position of promoting things that are inherently not good for people,” he said at the time, overlooking the fact that cannabis is frequently used as a medicine.
In April, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laid into Colorado in an attempt to explain why he would never allow his state to legalize. Christie has long stood in the way of medical marijuana in New Jersey, and has vowed to prevent any attempts at legalization.
“For the people who are enamored with the idea, with the income, the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there,” Christie said in a radio interview.
The people of Colorado have been living there for a long time, and they have a front-row seat to marijuana reform. If recent polls are to be believed, they seem to like what they see. It’s not clear where Hickenlooper or Christie are getting their data.