Tags: Marijuana Legalization | Polls | Colorado | Quinnipiac | poll

Poll: Coloradans Still Favor Legal Pot, But Few Admit to Imbibing

Image: Poll: Coloradans Still Favor Legal Pot, But Few Admit to Imbibing
(Matthew Staver/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 10:01 AM

Voters in Colorado approved the legalization of retail marijuana in 2012 and today more than half of the state's voters continue to support the decision, according to a new poll.

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that by a margin of 58 percent to 38 percent, Colorado voters back legalization, although support is higher among men than women.

According to the survey, legalization is supported by 63 percent of men, compared to 53 percent of women. Conversely, 44 percent of women oppose legalization, while only 33 percent of men share that view.

The highest support comes from voters between the ages of 18 to 34 years with 82 percent approval and that declines to 58 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old. Among voters over 55 years old, 46 percent support legalization, with 50 percent opposed.

Only 19 percent of voters said they have tried it since it became legal last year.

"As for pot, they remain neither cold nor hot. Voters still think it was a good move to legalize recreational marijuana, but few admit to joining the ranks of new 'imbibers,'" said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form with Colorado and Washington among the first states to pass ballot measures legalizing its use, according to Governing Magazine.

While the experience of legalization in Colorado remains under examination, there have been areas of success, such as the state's efforts to implement the law and related regulations, according to John Hudak of the Brookings Institution.

In a July 2014 report, Hudak says the state largely succeeded in rolling out and implementing a legal marijuana system, and took particular care to address key concerns such as diversion, illegal activity, and the financial challenges facing the marijuana industry. However, he notes, that state must find more effective ways to meet challenges involving edibles, homegrown marijuana, tax incentives, and marijuana tourism.

Hudak examined the implementation, but did not analyze whether legalization was a good or a bad idea.

Some educators, however, are concerned about the impact of the legalization of the sale of pot on middle-school children in light of recent increases in suspensions and other disciplinary actions.

State Department of Education statistics show that the number of middle-school students who were caught with drugs reached a decade-high record last year, according to a recent report by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News.

The 24 percent increase in drug reports last year follows an initial decline in suspensions, expulsions and other referrals to police decreased between the year of legalization and the previous academic year, 2012-13, according to their analysis.

However, the report noted that data collected by the Colorado Department of Education does not differentiate between marijuana and other drugs, such as prescription drugs, heroin, and cocaine.

"I would say that at any given time, any day of the week, there are probably about 10 percent of kids in the high school that are under the influence of something," school resource officer Susan Condreay of the Aurora Police Department told The Post Independent.

When Colorado residents legalized the retail sale of marijuana in 2012, some school districts, such as the Poudre School District, will not receive a dime of that money, according to The Coloradan.

Colorado's law is facing a new challenge after two residents filed separate lawsuits last week saying that under federal racketeering law, they should be able to collect damages from pot businesses that violate federal law, reports CBS News' local Denver affiliate.

Another lawsuit was filed by the owner of a Holiday Inn, who contends that a recently-opened marijuana business is discouraging families from staying at their hotel.

"Marijuana businesses make bad neighbors. They drive away legitimate businesses' customers, emit pungent, foul odors, attract undesirable visitors, increase criminal activity, increase traffic, and reduce property values," says the lawsuit, according to the CBS report.

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Voters in Colorado approved the legalization of retail marijuana in 2012 and today more than half of the state's voters continue to support the decision, according to a new poll.
Colorado, Quinnipiac, poll
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2015-01-24
Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 10:01 AM
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