If you live in New York and like to get high, you might want to consider moving to New Jersey. While New Yorkers like to look down on their neighbors, New Jersey seems to be all set to become the 12th US state to legalize adult-use cannabis — take that, New Yorkers.
According to a new poll released on Tuesday, 68 percent of respondents say they are in favor of legalization.
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This November, the state’s general election ballot will also include a referendum question asking whether it should allow legal cannabis sales and use for adults aged 21 and older.
Support for legalization seems to have grown since April of this year when a separate poll found that around 60 percent of respondents were in favor of legal weed.
According to the poll conducted by DKC Analytics, nearly 40 percent said they “strongly support” legalization, while 28 percent said they “somewhat support” the ballot measure.
About a quarter of respondents said they opposed legalization, and roughly six percent were uncertain.
Interestingly, while Democrats were most likely to support legalization (78 percent), a majority of Republicans (57 percent) and independents (63 percent) also support legal weed.
“The polling results confirmed our belief that there is overwhelming support for the creation of a regulated, adult-use cannabis marketplace in New Jersey,” said John Fanburg, an attorney at Brach Eichler, the law firm that commissioned the survey, according to Marijuana Moment.
“Respondents supported it because it will create tremendous opportunity. It will create vitally needed new businesses, the state will receive significant tax revenues and illegal sales will be dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. Voters see this as a win for everyone.”
Although 68 percent of voters said they supported legalization, 57 percent of them said that they don’t use cannabis themselves.
That’s a really promising development, given that just a few decades ago, cannabis was still seen as the devil’s lettuce by a majority of Americans.
The survey asked voters why they were for or against the measure, with nearly 70 percent of supporters saying that they believed legalization would help get rid of the black market, and 43 percent saying they believed weed was safer than alcohol.
Around 57 percent of voters said they believed legal weed would create more jobs, 61 percent said legalization would increase tax revenue and ensure safer weed products, and 60 percent said it would save taxpayer money that is currently being wasted on enforcing cannabis prohibition laws.
“The strong level of support for correcting this decades-old inequality, especially in the context of recent protests of inherent bias in law enforcement, should be well noted by our legislators who will be tasked with correcting this unfortunate consequence of the failed policy of prohibition,” said Charles Gormally of Brach Eichler to Marijuana Moment.
For those opposed to legalization, 38 percent said they were concerned about impaired driving, 27 percent were afraid of increased youth access, and 24 percent still believe that cannabis is a gateway drug.