|Graphic: Sensible Colorado|
Nearly half of Colorado’s voters say all marijuana use — not just the state’s growing medical cannabis industry — should be legal and taxed, according to a new statewide poll by Rasmussen Reports.
The telephone survey of 500 likely Colorado voters showed 49 percent saying marijuana should be legal and taxed, with 39 percent saying pot should remain illegal and 13 percent are undecided, reports Mark Harden at the Denver Business Journal.
For whatever reason, men in Colorado are much more supportive than women in the state when it comes to legalizing and taxing the herb. Predictably, Democrats and independents view pot more favorably than Republicans, the poll found.
In a similar survey conducted nationwide a year ago, 41 percent of voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana, according to Rasmussen.
The fact that higher percentages of voters support legalization in almost every medical marijuana state goes against the idea that the adoption of legalized medical marijuana has somehow been unpopular with voters, or a social experiment gone awry.
The poll numbers would seem to indicate the exact opposite — that the more familiar Americans become with cannabis, the more popular it becomes.
Sales of medical marijuana are permitted in Colorado under a state constitutional amendment passed in 2000. Possession of cannabis for any reason remains illegal at the federal level. The U.S. government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, with no accepted medical value, along with heroin and LSD.
Even cocaine, as a Schedule II drug, is less strictly regulated that pot at the federal level.
Polling on the national level shows that 63 percent of Americans, almost two thirds, believe patients should be allowed to use marijuana if it is recommended by a doctor. A slim majority, 51 percent, say alcohol is more dangerous than pot, with 19 percent say the opposite is true.
Pulse Opinion Research LLC conducted the survey for Rasmussen on May 10. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.