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Majority in Colorado Poll Want Marijuana Legalized

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #697)
Drug War Issues

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows support for marijuana legalization in Colorado at 51%, with 38% opposed. The poll comes as activists there are prepare to put at least one marijuana legalization initiative on the November 2012 ballot.

The poll did not ask whether Coloradans should "regulate marijuana like alcohol," which is the language used in the best positioned initiative, the one led by SAFER and Sensible Colorado. Instead, the poll simply asked, "Do you think marijuana usage ought to be legal or illegal?"

Pot legalization was favored by people who voted for Obama in 2008 (68%), moderates (53%), liberals (68%), and the very liberal (82%). In terms of party affiliation, legalization scored well with Democrats (65%) and independents (55%), but only won the support of 31% of Republicans.

Legalization won majority support among men (54%), but not women (49%), and among whites (51%), but not Hispanics (49%), although, with the poll's +/- 4.3% margin of error, both findings suggest a virtual dead heat. By age group, legalization had the greatest support among 18-to-29-year-olds (71%), followed by 46-to-65-year-olds (53%), 30-to-45-year-olds (52%). Only among the post-65-year-olds did legalization fail to win majority support (36%).

While the poll shows a slim majority favoring legalization, the conventional wisdom among initiative campaigners is that an initiative should be polling at least 60% when the campaign hits the ground running, so these results suggest campaigners in Colorado have their work cut out for them -- building support for legalization in principle and/or finding an initiative model that answers the questions causing some to go with no or undecided so far. These results also suggest that campaigners are going to have to craft messages that resonate with key demographic groups, particularly middle-aged mothers.

At least marijuana legalization is polling ahead of other hot-button social issues in Colorado. While a narrow majority favor freeing the weed, only 45% thought gay marriage should be legal or approved of a small state tax increase, while only 38% approved of the Tea Party and only 32% approved of legalizing prostitution.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


cancerpatient (not verified)

Republicans are always screaming about debt and spending. When presented with an amazing source of revenue they vote against it. Cutting ones nose off to spite the face. 

Sat, 08/13/2011 - 7:10pm Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

In reply to by cancerpatient (not verified)

nowhere near all of them.  Many Republicans (41%, according to a recent poll, favor legalizing).  Generalizations do more harm than help.

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 2:18am Permalink
David Hart (not verified)

"...particularly middle-aged mothers."


At the risk of talking in an echo chamber here, Peter Guither's car magnet <a></a> seems to be a good way to go.

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 6:01pm Permalink

The failed Drug War is officially 0ver 40 years old and has cost appx a TRILLION dollars. It's been responsible for criminalizing 850,000 Americans per year, just for marijuana use. It's been an abject failure, YET the prohibitionists want more time and more money!
Legalize and Regulate marijuana EXACTLY as we do alcohol, the model is in place.
If you want to keep it out of the hands of children, keep it out of the control of Black Market drug dealers and put it under the control of responsible, regulated and licensed people. Or you can not do that and hope that the black market dealers will do the right thing.
Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book! ..... @MikeParentLeap on Twitter..... Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 10:18am Permalink
dalancroft (not verified)

In reply to by Mike Parent (not verified)

That is, if you're part of the police/prison/industrial complex, similar to the military/industrial complex against which Eisenhower warned us so many decades ago. If you're a judge, lawyer (defense or prosecutor), cop, prison guard, etc., you're WAAAAAAY ahead on your salary AND generous pension. That's the real reason this sh*t continues.

Mon, 08/22/2011 - 3:49am Permalink
kpm (not verified)

the congressmen in  Mi  emailed me back saying  grass is  a gateway drug and drugs are all bad - kill em all let god sort em out attitude - well-" gateway drug" because of where they're getting it, anything is available,(from that house down the street)  and kids love trying out new things  --legalize it  for adults- it is not a narcotic -

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 1:17pm Permalink
deealex (not verified)

It is better and safer than alcohol. Kids are already getting it any time they want with just a quick text. Most pot smokers stay home and enjoy the high watching tv. Drinkers like to drive around and go to the bars. Drinking kills and is legal. It is a huge waste of money fighting about marijuana. Tax it if you want but, it should be legal.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 3:32pm Permalink

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