A new poll released this week by Public Policy Polling shows that likely voters in Colorado are in support of Amendment 64, the ballot measure that seeks legalization and regulation of marijuana similar to that of alcohol -- and that support appears to be growing.
The survey of 779 likely Colorado voters conducted between the dates of August 2nd and 5th shows 47 percent would vote for Amendment 64 if the election were held right now and only 38 percent would vote against it. 15 percent of those surveyed were "not sure."
The poll also suggests support is growing for Amendment 64 in the Centennial State. Back in June, PPP conducted a similar poll and those in favor of the legalization measure narrowly outpaced the opposition 46 percent to 42 percent. Now, two months later, that support has grown to 47-38. The reason for this, according to PPP, are the independent and young voters who are increasingly in favor of legalization. From the PPP report:
This movement is entirely because of independents, who were already in favor of the amendment by a 49-40 margin; they now support it by 30 points, 58-28. Democrats are still slightly more in favor (59-22) than Republicans opposed (26-61).
Voters under 45 support it by a 58/30 margin, while those over 45 oppose it by a 44/39 margin.
This is the highest percentage of Colorado voter support for Amendment 64 that a PPP poll has shown to date. The survey also showed growth in general sentiments about marijuana legalization with 50 percent of those surveyed in favor of marijuana usage being legal and 42 percent in opposition to marijuana legalization (8 percent were "not sure"). This percentage is also slightly up from June's support at 49-43.
However, Amendment 64's opponents at "No on 64" say that this percentage of approval is simply not high enough to pass. From a press release:
Ballot measures usually require a much higher level of support at this point in an election cycle because the default position for most voters is no, especially when it comes to amending the Colorado Constitution. In October 2008, a Mason-Dixon poll found Amendment 59, a school funding proposal, at 41% approval. It failed 55%-45%. An October 2010 poll by SurveyUSA for The Denver Post and 9News revealed that 20% of polled voters supported the “personhood” Amendment 62, while 56% were opposed and 25% were undecided. Amendment 62 failed 70%-30%. Another 2010 ballot measure, Amendment 63, an attempt to undercut the Affordable Care Act, also failed 53%-47%.
But survey results often rely on question wording and marijuana legalization has seen other higher poll numbers recently. PPP's survey follows a June Rasmussen poll of 500 likely Colorado voters which showed 61 percent were in favor of legalizing marijuana if it is regulated the way that alcohol and cigarettes are currently regulated.
Coloradans are getting ready to vote on Amendment 64 and will decide whether Colorado should legalize marijuana this November -- a vote that some say could affect the presidential race in a state where marijuana dispensaries in Denver alone outnumber the Starbucks throughout the entire state, The Denver Post first reported in 2010.
This will be the second time Coloradans will vote on recreational pot legislation -- state voters considered and rejected a similar recreational pot legalization initiative in 2006. But Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, believes that Colorado has come a long way since 2006, he recently told The Huffington Post:
More Coloradans than ever before are aware of the fact that marijuana is not as dangerous as they have been led to believe and is actually far less harmful than alcohol. They have also seen firsthand via our medical marijuana system that it is possible for the state and localities to regulate and control the production and distribution of marijuana. They have read stories that quote law enforcement officials acknowledging that it has not contributed to crime or caused any significant problems. The environment here has changed dramatically.
The marijuana legalization initiative also recently received support from both Republicans and Democrats -- in March, 56 percent of the delegates at the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support the legislation, and in April, the Denver Democratic Party officially endorsed Amendment 64 and added a marijuana legalization plank to the current party platform.
Below, where medical marijuana has been legalized in the United States: