Nearly 80 percent of Kentuckians approve of legalizing medical marijuana and roughly a quarter of the state would be open to outright legalization, according to a poll released last week.
How to go about that, though, seems to be up in the air.
The poll – which talked with 1,500 adults across the state – shows that about 26 percent of voters would approve of allowing residents to buy and use marijuana. Interestingly, the poll also asked whether voters would be in favor of allowing residents to buy or use marijuana “for any reason” and 38 percent said they would okay such proposals..
Support for medical marijuana legalization was high across political lines, with about 73 percent of Republicans polled in favor of allowing compassionate use for patients and more than 80 percent of Democrats.
But voters were split on how to accomplish that. Only 23 percent felt it was up to state lawmakers to do it and another 23 percent said it was up to the U.S. Congress to make those changes. The majority (45 percent) said that it should be left up to Kentucky voters.
The poll was conducted by Kentucky Health Issues for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a group not necessarily on the pro-legalization side by any matter.
“You know lighting any organic matter and sucking it into your lungs is probably not the best thing for your health,” Foundation CEO Susan Zepeda said to WFPL. “So in part our concern would be about the way marijuana is delivered. The delivery system of smoking it.”
Kentucky legislators earlier this year approved an industrial hemp bill that will allow farmers to cultivate the non-psychoactive crop. The catch? Farmers still have to approve federal approval.