Poll Shows Widespread Support For Colorado’s Pot Laws

By Paul Gaita 07/18/14

Yes, even a majority of Republican voters are in favor of the state's legalization effort.

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A new poll from the Huffington Post and YouGov shows substantial support for Colorado’s marijuana legalization effort, while also noting growing discontent with efforts to enforce current pot laws.

Sixty-one percent of Americans who participated in the poll were in favor of Colorado Amendment 64, which allows the legal use of recreational marijuana but with heavy taxes and sale restrictions for people under the age of 21. Of that number, 68% were Democrats, 60% were independents, and 52% were Republicans. When asked if marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states, 51% of the participants said yes, while 37% said no. Of the yes votes, 62% were Democrats and 51% were independents, but only 36% of Republican participants agreed with full legalization.

The parties found more common ground on other related issues, most notably in regard to government efforts to police marijuana laws. A full 60% of Americans—including 60% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans—felt that these actions cost more than they were worth. A majority of respondents, including 55% of Democrats and 49% of Republicans, believe that the government should not be able to enforce federal laws regarding marijuana after states have declared it legal.

Some of the most interesting results came in regard to the long-ranging ramifications of legal marijuana. Fifty percent of respondents believed that marijuana use would not lead to the use of harder drugs, while 54% believed that legalizing pot will increase criminal activity. However, 38% of the respondents agreed that legalization might decrease road safety (39% disagreed), while 53% believe that legalization will either increase or encourage marijuana use in young people.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.