Poll: Majorities of Democrats and Independents Support Legalization of Marijuana

In less than a month, people
will be able to legally purchase and use marijuana recreationally
in Colorado thanks to the state’s landmark marijuana law that takes
effect January 1. Americans nationally, however, are still divided
on whether marijuana should be legalized.

In the latest
Reason-Rupe poll
, 49 percent of Americans told Reason-Rupe that
they favor the legalization of marijuana while 47 percent say they
are opposed.

Majorities of Democrats (55 percent) and independents (51
percent) favor marijuana legalization, as do 37 percent of
Republicans. Instead, a majority (59 percent) of Republicans
opposed legalizing marijuana. Despite the libertarian streak in the
tea party movement, a majority (54 percent) of tea partiers also
oppose making marijuana legal, while Republicans who don’t identify
with the movement are slightly more likely to oppose (61

Support for legalization increases with education and declines
with age. Forty-six percent of those with a high school education
or less support legalization, while 54 percent of college graduates
and 57 percent of post-graduates are in favor of legalizing
marijuana. In addition, 56 percent of Americans under 35 favor
making marijuana legal, middle aged Americans are evenly divided,
and 60 percent of those over 65 oppose such a policy change.

2013 Reason-Rupe poll
 asked the question slightly
differently, by asking if Americans favored or opposed the
legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Similarly, 47
percent favored and 49 percent opposed. Interestingly, asking about
recreational use depressed Republican support to only 25 percent,
while the December 2013 poll which did not mention “recreational
use” found Republican support as high as 37 percent. Both time and
wording have bolstered Republican support; particularly emphasizing
marijuana as a “recreational” activity is likely counterproductive
to convincing social conservatives to support reform.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed
1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a
margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates
International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns
may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results,
detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign
up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe
poll here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/18/poll-majorities-of-democrats-and-indepe2

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