In addition to polling the Governor and Senate races, SurveyUSA also asked the likely voters in Colorado this year how they felt about marijuana legalization. A plurality of 46 percent supported full marijuana legalization while 43 percent opposed.
The state already allows medical use of marijuana. What are your views on legalization?
No Opinion 11
This is a fairly good indicator that Colorado, as a voter initiative state, will be a likely target for a marijuana legalization ballot measure in 2012.
Noteworthy here is that there is plurality support among “likely voters” this year. This November, because of the expected Democratic enthusiasm gap, the likely voter models having been skewing slightly older and more conservative than they would for a normal midterm. That model probably increases sampling of the opposition to legalization by a few percentage points.
Midterm elections also traditionally have a much lower youth voter turnout than presidential years, and, as a group, young voters tend to be the most supportive of legalization. I suspect that if SurveyUSA were using the more expansive presidential year likely voter model, that would also add a few percent to the support side.
In addition, across the country, support for marijuana legalization has been trending slowly upward every year. I would expect support to naturally gain a point or two by 2012, although it could be a lot more or less depending on whether Proposition 19 passe in California and how it is received.
Based on this poll, I can see support for a well-crafted 2012 marijuana legalization ballot initiative in Colorado polling in the low 50s. Thanks to direct democracy, come 2012, Colorado can be one of the first states to end marijuana prohibition.