A new poll has found 68 percent of New Jersey residents said they would vote in favor of the cannabis legalization ballot question in November, according to a survey commissioned by law firm Brach Eichler LLC and conducted by DKC Analytics. Twenty-six percent opposed the measure.
Interestingly, 57 percent of the poll respondents indicated they were not current cannabis users. Another 17 percent said they were current users, while 14 percent said they had used cannabis in the past, and 9 percent said they would consider trying cannabis if it were legalized in the state.
The reforms were supported by 78 percent of Democrats, with 19 percent opposed; 57 percent of Republicans, with 39 percent opposed; and 63 percent of independents, with 27 percent opposed. In all, just 6 percent of respondents said they were unsure.
John D. Fanburg, co-chair of the Cannabis Law Practice at the firm, said the results confirmed that “there is overwhelming support for the creation of a regulated, adult-use cannabis marketplace in New Jersey.”
“Respondents supported it because it will create tremendous opportunity. It will create vitally needed new businesses, the state will receive significant tax revenues and illegal sales will be dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. Voters see this as a win for everyone.” – Fanburg in a statement
Poll respondents were split about whether the reforms should include local control of cannabis sales – which would allow municipalities to decide whether to allow cannabis sales within their city limits. The majority – 44 percent – of respondents favored home rule, with 41 percent opposed, and 51 percent unsure. Respondents also favored social-use lounges (50-38 percent), home delivery (55 to 33 percent), and limiting cannabis use to private property (71 to 26 percent).
Additionally, the poll found 68 percent supported expungement of low-level cannabis crimes that would be legal under the new regime. Fanburg said it is “well recognized” that minorities in New Jersey “were arrested and incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses disproportionate to non-minority populations.”
Charles X. Gormally, another co-chair of the Cannabis Law Practice, said the “strong level” of support for criminal reforms among respondents “should be well noted” by New Jersey lawmakers who will be tasked with writing and implementing the rules for legalization.
The poll surveyed 500 registered New Jersey voters from July 7-12. The poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error.
An April poll from Monmouth University also found New Jersey voters supported the reforms 61-34 percent.