Monday, June 6, 2016
Latest poll numbers show continued strong support for marijuana legalization among independents and younger voters
This new Politico article, headlined "National poll: Majority supports legalizing marijuana," provides a review of the latest Quinnipiac University poll asking registered voters their views on marijuana reform policies. And the demographic breakdowns show, yet again, why politicians who adamantly oppose reform will do so at their peril unless their voting poopulation is older and heavily GOP affiliated. Here are the basics (with my emphasis added):
Slightly more than half — 54 percent — said the use of marijuana should be made legal across the country, while 41 percent said it should not. The results broke down along partisan lines, with 65 percent to 30 percent of Democrats in support and 62 percent to 36 percent of Republicans in opposition. Independent voters backed legalization 61 percent to 36 percent, as did men (60 percent to 37 percent) and women, albeit within the margin of error (48 percent to 46 percent). Possession of marijuana is legal in Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, Colorado and the District of Columbia, with several other states having decriminalized the drug.
Majorities of registered voters younger than 65 said they would support legalization, while 57 percent of those surveyed 65 and older said they would oppose. On the question of whether people should be allowed to use medically prescribed marijuana, 89 percent overall said they would be in favor, while just 9 percent opposed. Nearly the same share — 87 percent — said Department of Veterans Affairs doctors should be able to prescribe medical marijuana in pill form in states where it is legal to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, while 9 percent said they should not be able to do so.
Quinnipiac conducted the poll via landlines and cellphones from May 24-30, surveying 1,561 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
In the cross-tabs on this poll (which can be accessed here), the numbers in support of marijuana legalization among voters aged 18 to 35 are especially potent: marijuana reform is supported by 69% and opposed by only 27% of this group (which I think is now the largest demographic voting block). These numbers, and especially the consistently strong support for medical marijuana reform that all polls now show, lead me to continue to think that federal marijuana reform is all but inevitable in the next four years no matter who ends up prevailing in the Prez election.