Despite Headlines, Only A Small Majority of New Jerseyans Support Recreational Marijuana
TOMS RIVER — A majority of voters in New Jersey are ready to legalize marijuana in the garden state, according to new data released by DKC Analytics. However, when you look deeper at the results, it indicates more of an uphill battle, then legislators and cannabis aficionados initially intended.
While the survey, released on Tuesday, shows that nearly seven in ten residents in New Jersey support the legalization of marijuana, headlines buzzing around social media also includes people in favor of just medical marijuana consumption, which throws a monkey wrench to residents who want recreational marijuana in the state.
The survey's logistics stem from 500 registered New Jersey voters, with 81% of respondents stating that they are going to vote in the upcoming election in November.
The crux of the voters who participated in the survey said they would support recreational marijuana use in New Jersey; however, it is just under half: 48.2% or 241 people. A flat 38% (or 190 people) surveyed said that they would only support the legalization of medicinal cannabis.
One hundred ninety-eight people, 39% of people surveyed, say they strongly support the initiative going to be on the ballot. 28%, or 140 people, said that they somewhat support the referendum initiative. 19% of people surveyed said that they either somewhat or strongly oppose the ballot initiative in November.
So, yes, while the study clearly shows that people surveyed are 'for' the ballot question in November, it also indicates that they might not have a choice in the matter, making it possible for people to leave the question blank in November when they go to vote.
According to Ballotpedia, the question in November will read as follows: "A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana," and "A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment to legalize the possession and use of marijuana and the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana in New Jersey."
There is nothing in this ballot question that asks voters if they want legalization for medicinal use. If there were, the result might be much more narrow than marijuana enthusiasts, and lawmakers would hope.
In a hypothetic situation that every registered voter voted in November, and there was an option FOR medicinal marijuana AND recreational marijuana, based on the results of this survey, below would be the theoretical results:
- For recreational marijuana: 2,795,600 = 48.2%
- For medicinal marijuana only: 2,204,000 = 38.0%
- Against any marijuana use: 800,400 = 13.8%
As you can see, the margins are much smaller. Slightly over 504,000 disagree with how marijuana should be consumed in the state.
But remember: this is if EVERY registered voter went to the ballot box in November. These are minimal margins, which is why the legislature wrote the bill the way they did.
If there were more options on the ballot, you would likely be seeing a more significant, stronger push for recreational marijuana use in New Jersey.
What do you think? How would you vote if there were three questions on the ballot like listed above? Let us know in the comments section below.