|According to a new Elway Poll, 54 percent of Washingtonians support legalizing cannabis.|
"There were equivalent numbers of 'definite supporters' and 'definite opponents' among the 408 voters interviewed by The Elway Poll last week," the poll reported, according to Joel Connelly at the Seattle P.I. "However, there were twice as many who were 'inclined to support' legalization as 'inclined to oppose,' " the poll reported.
Of those surveyed, 54 percent overall definitely support marijuana legalization or are "inclined to support it but I need to know more," while 43 percent are definitely opposed or inclined to oppose. Only 3 percent of Evergreen State voters are undecided on the issue.
The poll revealed differences by geography, by age and by political affiliation across Washington.
Fully 77 percent of Seattle voters definitely support or are inclined to support legalization of cannabis, with oly 9 percent are definitely opposed.
In more conservative Eastern Washington, by contrast, supporters total just 41 percent, while 48 percent are definitely opposed to legalization.
Sixty percent of Democrats and 55 percent of political independents surveyed by Elway definitely support or are inclined to support cannabis legalization. But 60 percent of Republicans surveyed were "definitely opposed" -- despite support from such conservative voices as The Seattle Times.
Marijuana advocates have some work to do with seniors, who still are far more likely to oppose cannabis legalization, despite arguments that using marijuana eases the pain and ailments of old age. Of those over 65 surveyed, 57 percent told Elway they are definitely opposed or inclined to oppose legalization.
In contrast, among those 18 to 35, 63 percent definitely support or are inclined to support marijuana legalization, with just 28 percent definitely opposed.
A small but definite gender gap was also revealed by the poll.
Among men, 59 percent surveyed definitely support or are inclined to support pot legalization, compared to 49 percent of women. Thirty-five percent of women are definitely opposed to legalization, and just 30 percent of men.
A bill was introduced to Congress last month with left-right bipartisan backing, which would authorize state governments to license and tax sales of marijuana. The team of Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the legislation.
"The idea that state government would license and tax marijuana sales was a net positive," the poll reported. "Overall, more survey respondents said that would make them more inclined to favor (44 percent) than oppose (30 percent) the initiative now circulating to legalize marijuana in Washington state."