Majority of Texans support legalizing medical and recreational marijuana
A Public Policy Polling survey recently completed for Texas showed majority support for both medical and recreational use of marijuana as well as a desire to change the state’s laws to lower penalties for recreational possession.
The survey was comprised of three primary questions, the first asking if the respondent would support or oppose changing the law in Texas to allow seriously and terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana for a limited number of conditions if their doctors recommend it.
A clear majority was reached with 58% stating they would support such a measure with 38% opposing it. Another 11% were undecided on the matter. Women supported the measure at 59% and men at 56%. By party affiliation Democrats supported medical marijuana by 67% with 16% opposing and 18% not sure. Republicans were more split with 50% supporting and 42% opposing. Independents and other party respondents supported by 59% to 36%.
They were then asked if they would support or oppose a change in law to make it a civil, not criminal, offense to possess an ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time.
There was even stronger support for this with 61% responding in favor of such a law change. Less than a third opposed it at 30% with only 9% saying they weren’t sure. Both men and women supported the change equally at 61%. Democrats supported at 66% and opposed at 20%. Republicans approved 55% to 37% and independents/others supported the measure 62% to 33%.
Under current Texas law, it is a criminal offense for a person to possess a small amount of marijuana, and he or she can be sentenced to up to a year in jail, and fined up to $2,000.
The third question allowed for a more varied response, asking respondents if they would support or oppose regulating marijuana like alcohol, meaning that it would have to be sold in stores to people 21 and older.
A good 41% “strongly supports” such a measure with another 17% saying they “somewhat support” regulating marijuana like alcohol. Opposition to such a measure was made by about a third of respondents, with 24% strongly opposing and 14% somewhat opposing; 3% weren’t sure.
Women strongly supported the measure at 42% and men strongly supported at 41%. Democrats strongly supported with 53%, Republicans with 33%, and independents/others with 38%. For Republicans, 32% strongly opposed but only 12% of Democrats strongly opposed. Independents/others strongly opposed with 28%.
There was strong support for all three measures across all racial lines with African-Americans showing the strongest support, followed closely by Hispanics and Whites.
Respondents whose age fell between 30 and 65 were most likely to be in support of the measures, with the 18-29 age group being the most unsure. Those 65 and older showed the least support but were still a part of the majority approval.
Women made up 52% of respondents versus 48% for men, 35% were Democrats, 42% were Republicans and 23% identified as either independent or another party.
Whites made up the majority of those polled at 60% with Hispanics following at 26% and African-Americans making up 9%.
Ages surveyed include 18-29 at 15%, 30-45 at 23%, 46-65 at 39%, and older than 65 at 23%.
For the full results of the poll, click here.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com