A recent poll of the Garden State shows that just over 58 of state residents want to legalize marijuana for adult consumption (21+). This is up from 49 supporting legalization about 1 year ago. Now that a somewhat significant percentage is publically behind legalization, Gov Christie looks increasingly more like a man who doesn’t listen to the state he governs, not to mention the 27 other US states who have shown that its not a dangerous move to make marijuana legal.
As more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, support in New Jersey increases, noted David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers University.
But the stronger support could have something to do with the context of the question, Redlawsk said.
“The question we asked this year is more specific than in the past, specifying that legalization would come with taxes and regulation and would apply to adults 21 and over. That likely accounts for some of the jump from 49 percent support a year ago to 58 percent today. But no matter how it is asked, we have seen a long-term upward trend in support,” he said.
According to the responses from 860 residents, 32 percent strongly support legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adults 21 years old and older, 26 percent say they somewhat support it, 12 percent are somewhat opposed, 27 percent are strongly opposed, and 3 percent said they didn’t have an opinion.
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), surmised more people support the idea since he introduced a bill last year that would treat cannabis just like alcohol. The legislature is in no hurry to hold hearings, knowing Gov. Chris Christie remains steadfastly opposed. But if legislation fails, he said he would consider a constitutional amendment and let voters decide.
The revenue and jobs created in Colorado — the first state to sell recreational marijuana — should be something New Jersey emulates to help it regain economic stability, Scutari said.
When asked what the sales tax revenue should be used to support, 36 percent of people in the poll said education; 20 percent said drug treatment services, 15 percent said improving the state’s highways and other transportation projects, 9 percent said social service programs and 3 percent said prisons.
What do you say? Vote in the informal, unscientific poll below