Swing State Poll Shows Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization

April 6, 2015

Voters in three crucial swing states—Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida—favor legalizing marijuana by a slim majority, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday.

The Quinnipiac swing state poll found voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida support legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana by 52,51, and 55 percent, respectively. Support for legalizing medical marijuana was significantly higher, clearing 80 percent in all three states.

As Quinnipiac University notes in its release, no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of the three states polled since 1960.

"Bare majorities in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania say they support allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, and more than eight in 10 say it should be available for medical uses," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "But it is worth considering the lesson of Florida in 2014, when a referendum on medical marijuana fell short of the 60 percent needed for passage."

An initiative on the 2014 ballot in Florida that would have legalized medical marijuana narrowly failed after getting 58 percent of the vote.

In a statement, Tom Angell, the founder of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, said that the results show "marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue that ambitious politicians should try to latch onto instead of run away from."

"If the next president isn’t willing to personally support ending prohibition as the best policy approach, he or she at least needs to push for changing federal laws so that seriously ill people can use medical marijuana without fear of being harassed by the DEA," Angell said. "Medical marijuana polls way better with voters than any presidential candidate does."

However, unlike hot-button issues such as gun control and abortion, it’s not clear if there are significant amounts of voters who will base their votes solely or even primarily on marijuana legalization.

Less than 20 percent of respondents in all three states said they would definitely or probably use marijuana if it were legalized.

Published under: Marijuana