On the presidential campaign trail, Governor Chris Christie recently said he wants to put an end to legal marijuana.
But voters in his home state are increasingly clamoring for it, according to a new poll.
Support for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey is at a record high, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released on Friday. The poll questions were formulated in conjunction with a group that favors legalization.
Forty-nine percent of registered voters favor legalization for personal use, while 46 percent oppose it.
While the difference between the pros and cons is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, Garden State voter opinion is clearly trending in pot’s favor, PublicMind director Krista Jenkins said. The last time FDU polled the question, in January 2014, 52 percent opposed legalization and 41 percent favored it.
“With national momentum building for the legalization of marijuana, it looks like the pendulum in New Jersey is swinging in the direction of legalization,” Jenkins said. “A little more than a year ago, a majority was clearly opposed. Today, that’s just not the case.”
The poll’s questions were written with the help of the ACLU of New Jersey, which favors legalization. Half the poll respondents were asked if they supported or opposed legalizing “small quantities of marijuana for personal use,” while the other half were asked if they supported “taxing, regulating, and legalizing small quantities of marijuana for personal use by adults, just like alcohol?”
The results were essentially the same for both questions.
“Raising the specter of not only legalization, but taxation and regulation doesn’t do anything to move the needle. You can liken it to alcohol, but few are persuaded either way,” said Jenkins.
The poll of 792 voters was conducted from June 15 to June 21.