• Puff Puff Pass: 50 Percent Of Michigan Voters Support Legal Marijuana

    Michigan marijuana advocates have their sights set on full-scale legalization — a move which is gaining momentum among voters, according to a new poll.

    EPIC MRA, a local survey research firm, surveyed 600 likely voters from Dec. 10 to 14 and found that 50 percent of Michigan voters would vote yes on a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state.

    But the race would be close.

    A total of 46 percent of those surveyed said they planned to vote no. An additional 4 percent said they were undecided, which means that legalization is far from a done deal. The results set the stage for a heated battle, as marijuana advocates won’t stop until they’ve achieved full legalization of the Schedule 1 drug.

    Pro-marijuana advocates remain optimistic, mostly because the last time a similar poll was commissioned, only 47 percent of likely voters expressed support for a legalization proposal in September 2013. The newest results show support at 3 percent higher, matching average nationwide support determined by a Gallup poll in October 2014.

    The December 2014 survey found that young voters between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most supportive of legalization measures, while those of age 65 were diametrically opposed. Men belonging to the Democratic Party clocked in at 70 percent support for legalization. Those with an unfavorable opinion of Obama registered 58 percent disapproval.

    The Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws commissioned EPIC MRA to determine the political viability of marijuana legalization in the state. Michigan already has a medical marijuana program.

    “Once people understand the effect that it’s had and analyze the statistics, they generally agree it’s a net win for society,” said Matthew Abel, executive director of the Michigan chapter of NORML, according to Michigan Live. “…Everybody knows you can get marijuana anywhere, so it’s time that we remove the taint of prohibition and the ill effects.”

    Michigan has had medical marijuana since 2008, and so far 17 communities in the state have decriminalized the drug. Medical marijuana programs have been fairly successful in passing through legislative bodies, but states are still wary of legalization programs. Oregon will be the third state, after Washington and Colorado, to legalize marijuana after a ballot proposal in November passed by popular vote.

    The survey margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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