New Jersey voters support cannabis legalization in the state by a two-to-one margin, according to an Farleigh Dickson University poll released October 9. The survey of registered and likely voters found 61 percent said they would vote yes on next month’s legalization ballot question, with 29 percent opposed.
Krista Jenkins, the FDU poll director and professor of politics and government at Fairleigh Dickinson University, noted that in 2018 the university poll found just 42 percent of New Jersians supported taxing and regulating cannabis in the state.
“Public opinion on this issue has evolved considerably. Just a few years ago, in 2018, we asked about recreational marijuana legalization and found support that was well beneath a majority, let alone anything that approached the support we’re seeing today.” – Jenkins in a statement
The legalization question garnered majority support from Democrats (77 percent), independents (57 percent), and Republicans (52 percent). The reforms were also backed by a majority of respondents from all age groups, with 77 percent of voters 18-34 saying they planned to vote ‘yes,’ along with 63 percent of voters 45-54, and 51 percent aged 55 and older.
Support for the reforms included majorities from those with just a high school diploma or less (64 percent), voters with some college education (59 percent), and college graduates (61 percent). Sixty-four percent of white people along with 58 percent of non-white people polled backed the reforms.
Support for the question also included majorities from the northern (60 percent), central (63 percent), and southern (61 percent) parts of the state.
The question – approved for ballots by state lawmakers as New Jersey does not have a petition process – would amend the state’s constitution to allow recreational cannabis use and sales for adults 21 and older.
The poll shows support slightly below one in August, which found 66 percent support for legalization, and another from July which found 68 percent support. Both of those polls were commissioned by the law firm Brach Eichler.
The FDU survey was conducted on both landlines and cell phones between September 30 through Oct. 5, 2020 with a random sample of 846 New Jersey adults, 18 or older, including 736 registered voters and 582 likely voters.