Majority in Colorado say legal marijuana good
(CNN) — Most voters in the first state to legalize recreational marijuana say the move was good for their state, according to a new poll.
But a Quinnipiac survey of Colorado voters also indicates there’s wide partisan and generational divides over the issue.
Colorado began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on January 1 to anyone age 21 or older. The state became the first to open recreational pot stores and became the first place in the world where marijuana is regulated from seed to sale. People can buy marijuana like alcohol – except the cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce, which is substantial enough to cost about $200 or more.
According to the poll, 54% of voters in the state say they support the law, with 43% opposed. And 52% of voters say legalizing marijuana was a good move, with 38% saying it was bad for Colorado.
Around seven in ten Democrats and a majority of independents say that they support the law and that legalizing marijuana was good for the state, with more than six in ten Republicans disagreeing. Younger voters say they back the measure and that legalizing pot was good for Colorado, with older voters opposing the law and saying it was a bad move for the state.
The poll also indicates a majority (54%-39%) saying driving has not become more dangerous because of legalized marijuana. Other findings: the measure will save the state and taxpayers a significant amount of money voters (53%-41%), it will have a positive impact on the state’s criminal justice system (50%-40%), and it will increase “personal freedoms in a positive way” (53%-44%). Two-thirds say it has not “eroded the moral fiber” of the people of Colorado.
“Colorado voters are generally good to go on grass, across the spectrum, from personal freedom to its taxpayer benefits to its positive impact on the criminal justice system,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
But more than half questioned say they are less likely to vote for a candidate for office who smokes marijuana two or three days a week. Only 3 percent are more likely to vote for a marijuana-smoking candidate, while 43 percent say it would not affect their vote.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 15-21, with 1,298 registered voters in Colorado questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
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