A narrow majority of registered voters in Colorado think marijuana should be legal according to the latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll and the voters of the state may soon have a chance to make that a reality. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is currently gathering signatures to put a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot in 2012. From the Poll:

Do you think marijuana usage should be legal  or illegal?
Legal ………… 51%
Illegal………… 38%
Not sure ……. 11%

Not surprisingly the break down of support for legalizing the use of marijuana in Colorado is nearly identical to the patterns we have seen nationally. Support for legalizing the usage of marijuana is strongest among very liberal voters (82%), Democrats (65%) and voters under 30 (71%). While the least amount of support comes from very conservative voters (28%), Republicans (31%) and senior citizens (36%).

One very interesting piece of information from the cross tabs is that individuals who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election overwhelmingly think marijuana should be legal by a margin of 68 percent legal – 21 percent illegal. In Colorado, at least, President Obama’s stance on both recreational and medicinal marijuana use is radically out of line with his base.

Although majority support for marijuana legalization is a good sign for this Colorado campaign, it should be noted that in 2010 the California marijuana legalization measure, Proposition 19, was ahead in early polling but ended up losing narrowly on election day. This Colorado effort  should  be in slightly better shape than Prop 19 was because they are trying to put the issue on the ballot in a Presidential Election year. Presidential elections tend to see much higher turn out among young voters who strongly support legalization.