A new poll is out in New Hampshire which found growing support for marijuana legalization. New Hampshire is one of the leading states on my radar to legalize marijuana via the legislature between now and 2016. The poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Below are some of the findings:
Although New Hampshire has legalized marijuana for medical purposes, earlier this year the New Hampshire legislature defeated an effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use. There is growing support for legalizing recreational marijuana in New Hampshire — 59% now support legalizing marijuana for recreational use (34% strongly and 25% somewhat), 35% oppose (25% strongly and 10% somewhat), 5% are neutral and 2% are unsure. Support for legalization has increased 8 percentage points in the past year.
Support for recreational marijuana legalization is strongest among those who never attend church (71% support), Independents (71%) and Democrats (70%). Opposition is strongest among regular churchgoers (58% oppose), older residents (52%), and Republicans (50%).
If marijuana were legalized in the Granite State, three-quarters of New Hampshire residents (72%) approve of selling it at licensed retail outlets and taxing it, similar to how alcohol is sold (48% strongly and 24% somewhat), only 24% disapprove of this idea (19% strongly and 5% somewhat), 2% are neutral and 1% are unsure. Support for this taxing and selling marijuana like alcohol has steadily increased since 2013.
Young people (86%), liberals (82%), Democrats (80%) are most likely to approve of this concept while regular churchgoers (44% oppose), older adults (38%), and Tea Party supporters (35%) are most likely to disapprove.
When asked what they would prefer the state legislature to do with marijuana laws, 52% want marijuana legalized and taxed like alcohol, 19% want it decriminalized, 27% want to keep marijuana laws as they are now and 2% don’t know or are unsure. This has measure is unchanged since it was last asked in April.
Majorities of Democrats (56%) and Independents (66%) prefer legalizing and taxing marijuana, while Republicans are more divided on the issue as 39% prefer legalization and 40% prefer keeping laws the way they are now.
That’s a very extensive poll. If 59% of residents of a state support something, politicians should be all over it, marijuana or otherwise. Will New Hampshire legalize marijuana between now and 2016? Only time will tell, but I think the state has a great chance of joining Colorado and Washington, and hopefully Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. too if the 2014 Election works out.