So far there is no indication in popular opinion of any blowback from marijuana legalization in Colorado. The people there have now been able to experience having recreational marijuana stores in the state for over two months, and support for legalization has increased modestly in that time.
Currently, 57 percent of voters think marijuana should be legal while only 35 percent think it should be illegal, according to a new PPP survey. Roughly one third said legalization made the state better, one third said legalization made it worse and the remaining third said it hasn’t made a difference.
By comparison, the PPP December poll from just before the recreational stores opened found support at only 53 percent to 38 percent opposing. Similarly, back in 2012 voters approved Amendment 64 by a vote of 55.3 percent yes to 44.7 percent no.
The results are very similar to the Quinnipiac poll from February which also found support for legalization edging up since implementation. It would seem that once voters get a firsthand experience with legalization and realize the sky hasn’t fallen they become more supportive.
It will be interesting to see how much the example of Colorado starts influencing Americans from other states. The bump in Colorado tourism shows more Americans will be experiencing it directly.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy
Photo by Jeffrey Beall under Creative Commons License