According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, the majority of Colorado voters are in favor of the legalization of cannabis use. The survey, released last week, polled voters on a number of hot topics in Colorado’s political climate. The question posed to voters was “Do you think marijuana usage should be legal or illegal?” 51% of respondents said they were in favor of legalization, while only 38% believe it should be illegal. 11% were unsure. The results were based on a sample of 510 registered voters.
So does this mean we’re getting legal pot for everyone next year? Not quite. The poll only asked if voters think marijuana use should be legal, but made no mention of sale or cultivation. Cannabis legalization should include both of those–most initiatives include them in their plans. Also, voters were not asked about cannabis regulation, which is currently a debated topic. The initiative proposed by SAFER and Sensible Colorado, for instance, would see marijuana regulated “like alcohol.”
Legalization also depends on the right number of voters turning out. Conventional wisdom among campaigners says that an initiative should have at least 60% in favor before a campaign begins. Colorado isn’t quite there yet when it comes to cannabis legalization. Groups in support of it will have to work to change some minds–particularly those in the 65+ demographic. 55% of those who want to keep weed illegal are over 65, according to the PPP poll.
A vote for legal pot in 2012 will rest on the backs of young voters. Historically, we’re pretty apathetic about politics. Voters in the 18 to 29 range make up 71% of this poll’s pro-cannabis respondents. Will they come out in support of their favorite plant when this issue comes to a vote? We can only hope.