Support to Legalize Marijuana Remains Strong in New Jersey

New Jersey voters continue to strongly support the efforts to legalize marijuana, according to a recent poll by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

In survey results released April 23, 61% say they would vote for the legalization of marijuana as compared to 34% would vote against a November ballot measure to amend the state Constitution “to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called cannabis for adults at least 21 years of age” in a market overseen by a state commission.  

Backing comes from 74% of Democrats, 64% of independents, and 40% of Republicans.

Widespread Support

“Support for the marijuana ballot measure is widespread in part because many who have no opinion on whether legalization is a good idea figure they might as well vote for it,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Overall, 64% general support legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, while 32% are opposed. 

These results are similar to polls taken in 2019 and 2018, when 61% and 60%, respectively support legalization, as support has grown since the 48% support garnered in 2014.

Age Requirements

Monmouth pollsters have tracked specific proposals to allow adults aged 21 years or older to purchase small quantities of marijuana from businesses licensed by the state over the last six year. 

Approval has steadily grown, from 36% in 2014 believing it’s a good idea to a 2020 level of 48%; currently, 30% say it is a bad idea and 22% have no opinion on it either way. 

When questioned if legalization would improve the state’s economy, 62% believe it would help, including 69% of Democrats, 61% of independents, and 55% of Republicans. Just 10% of state voters say it would hurt the economy and 21% say it would have no impact either way. 

No State Talks

Gov. Phil Murphy said on April 23 that state officials have not had discussions with legislative leadership about fast-tracking marijuana legalization to secure a revenue source for New Jersey in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In terms of negative consequences, 27% of New Jersey voters think that legalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in other drug crimes. Conversely, 22% believe it will actually lead to a decrease in other drug crimes, with 46% maintaining it will not have an impact on other drug crimes either way. 

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