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New Jersey voters favor marijuana legalization, echoing support of Democratic lawmakers: Poll

August 22, 2018

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly favor legalizing marijuana, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, signaling support among constituents for anti-prohibition efforts being pursued by Democrats in the state capital.

Sixty-two percent of New Jersey voters surveyed last week said they support letting adults legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, including 90 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, the resultsrevealed.

What’s more, 63 percent of respondents said that they support erasing past marijuana possession-related convictions and half of the people surveyed said they support legalizing marijuana sales, pollsters added.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, campaigned on legalizing marijuana prior to winning election last November, and in March he said he intended to follow through by 2019. His attorney general, Gurbir Grewal,asked county and municipal prosecutors last month to put a pause on all criminal marijuana cases, and on Monday the Democratic president of the New Jersey state Senate told Politico that lawmakers will likely legalize the plant as soon as next month.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, classified as a Schedule 1 substance in the same category as heroin, but most Americans now live in states that have passed legislation permitting the plant for either recreational or medical purposes. Thirty states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, New Jersey included, and nine of those Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have legalized recreational, or “adult use” marijuana.

The results of the poll released Wednesday are based on a telephone survey conducted of 908 voters with a margin of error of 4.6 percent, Quinnipiac said.

Nationwide, previous surveys conducted by Quinnipiac and Gallup separately found that over 60 percent of voters support legalizing marijuana.

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