Half Of NJ Voters Favor Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana Use; Half Admit To Getting Stoned


STAR-LEDGER: A poll released today shows New Jersey voters are evenly divided in their support for legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use — although the results show wide gaps among different sexes, age groups, and political affiliations. The Quinnipiac University survey found that 48 percent of registered voters backed the idea, while the same number were opposed.But gaps emerged when the groups were broken down:

• Men back legalization 54 percent to 43 percent, while women are opposed 52 percent to 43 percent.

• Voters 18 to 29 support legalization 56 percent to 43 percent, while voters over 65 disapprove 63 percent to 33 percent.

• Democrats are for it 55 percent to 41 percent, Republicans are against it 61 percent to 34 percent, and independents are divided, 48 percent to 48 percent.

“There’s enormous interest in the proposal to legalize marijuana, but voters split down the middle,” Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said. “Republicans say no, Democrats say yes, and the highest support comes from younger voters.” Last month, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) introduced legislation that would make the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use legal in New Jersey. But Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that he would oppose any effort to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Today’s poll shows 41 percent of New Jersey voters admit to having smoked marijuana — including 56 percent of voters younger than 30. MORE