New Jersey voters support a marijuana legalization referendum that’s on their ballots by a nearly three-to-one margin, according to a new poll released on Friday.
The Stockton University Polling Institute survey found that when likely voters were asked whether they “support or oppose a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in New Jersey,” 66 percent were in favor, compared to 23 percent in opposition.
A separate poll released last week found that voters back the Garden State marijuana referendum by a similar margin of 61 percent to 29 percent. Another survey last month showed 65 percent of voters in support of the cannabis ballot question.
In a press release, the pollsters from Stockton emphasized that “margins in actual election results for ballot questions are typically less than found in the polls” and that “the reason may be that the number of voters who actually cast votes at the end of the ballot, where public questions are placed, are generally fewer than at the top of the ballot.”
That could be a concern for cannabis legalization advocates since the New Jersey referendum is on the back of the ballot, where some voters may not see it. In light of that, activists have made a concerted effort to get voters to “turn the page” to make sure they weigh in on the marijuana question.
The university didn’t publish demographic breakdowns from the poll in its release but did share them at Marijuana Moment’s request.
“We found that support for the amendment to legalize steadily decreased as age increased,” Alyssa Maurice, a research associate with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, said. “Among 18-29 year old respondents, 88% said they supported it. Among 30-49 year-olds, 76% supported. 60% of 50-64 year-olds and 52% of those 65 and older did.
“There was also stronger support among those who identify as Democrats (76%) than Republicans (52%),” she said.
Meanwhile, New Jersey isn’t the only state that appears poised to approve cannabis reform this election cycle. Two polls released on Thursday show Arizona’s marijuana legalization ballot measure with a solid lead. And a survey from earlier this week found that 49 percent of Montana likely voters are in favor of recreational legalization proposals on the ballot, with 10 percent still undecided.
In New Jersey, the marijuana referendum has the support of top state officials and a robust campaign operation.
Gov. Phil Murphy said that the ongoing criminalization of cannabis in New Jersey wastes taxpayer dollars, and he’s emphasized that prohibition is enforced in a racially disproportionate manner. Murphy similarly said in a recent interview that the marijuana reform proposal prioritizes social justice. He said in July that legalizing cannabis is “an incredibly smart thing to do” both from an economic and social justice perspective.
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