Skyline view of Portland, Oregon, with snow-capped Mt. Hood on the eastern horizon.

Jeff Gunn

Majority of Oregonians Continue to Support Legal Cannabis, Poll Shows

A majority of Oregon voters believe that the legalization law approved in 2014 has so far benefited the state, according to a summary by the Oregonian‘s Noelle Crombie.

Polling data from DHM Research — an independent and non-partisan opinion research firm with a Portland-based office — suggest that 61 percent of Oregon voters believe the legalization of recreational cannabis has positively impacted the state. Only 54 percent of Oregon voters actually voted in favor of the legalization law, meaning that somewhere down the line people who were at that time either on the fence or anti-legalization have shifted their views on the matter.

“Big picture, I think Oregonians are relatively satisfied,” said John Horvick, vice president and political director for DHM Research. “I don’t think a lot of minds have changed, but the general acceptance of marijuana continues apace. There hasn’t been a backlash.”

The poll also demonstrated that the demographics of cannabis support have not changed considerrably, though the overall amount of support is still growing. Democrats and younger voters remain more likely to view cannabis favorably, while Republicans and older voters are more likely to disapprove. Likewise, urban communities expressed higher satisfaction rates than rural communities.

Pollsters also asked about voters’ dispositions toward local bans on the recreational cannabis industry and found that most voters in the state (60 percent) do not approve of such ordinances. This number also fluctuated heavily between urban and rural voters: in the Portland area, 67 percent oppose the bans; outside of Portland, only 54 percent are opposed.

Additionally, 69 percent of voters statewide support installing a local sales tax on cannabis sales. Each locality, however, will have to put that issue to voters before it can impose such a tax — more than 100 Oregon communities are already planning to do so in the coming election.

There are currently four states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized adult-use recreational cannabis. This November, nine states will be voting on some form of legalization: five for recreational and four for medical legalization.

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