Poll: More Than Half of Pa. Voters Want to Legalize Weed

Support has grown drastically since 2006, according to a new Franklin and Marshall College survey.

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More than half of Pennsylvania voters – 56 percent – want to legalize marijuana, according to a new survey from Franklin & Marshall College.

According to the poll, support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high in Pennsylvania. In 2006, when F&M first surveyed Pa. voters on the topic, just 22 percent of participants supported legalization.

Here’s how support breaks down along party lines, per the poll: 75 percent of independent voters are in favor of legalization, 65 percent percent of Democrats are in favor, and 44 percent of Republicans support legalization. Across the board, support has grown drastically since 2015, when the poll found that about 40 percent of Pennsylvania voters supported legalization. 

The survey also asked participants how they felt about Gov. Tom Wolf’s performance. About 41 percent of Pa. voters said they believe Wolf is doing an “excellent” or “good” job, while 35 percent said they thought he was doing a “fair” job, 18 percent said they thought he was doing a “poor” job, and 8 percent said they “don’t know.”

Slightly more than half of the registered Democrats who participated in the survey gave the governor a positive rating, while one in four Republicans and one in three Independents gave him a positive rating.

Wolf has called for the decriminalization of marijuana in Pa., but he’s repeatedly stopped short of supporting legalization. Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, on the other hand, said yesterday on WHYY that he believes the state should legalize weed and sell the drug at state-run stores.

Between May 1st and May 7th, F&M polled 629 Pa. registered voters, including 307 Democrats, 243 Republicans and 89 independents. Surveys were conducted over the phone and online and weighed by age, gender, region, education, ideology and party registration to “reflect the known distribution of those characteristics as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of State and Pennsylvania exit polls,” according to the poll.

The survey’s sample error is +/- 4.9 percentage points. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, F&M College receives a B+ polling grade and has a slight Republican bias.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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