Not that we would ever want to legislate based on poular opinion polls, but public opinion should in fact matter, and as we head into the afternoon of hearings on marijuana legalization in New Hampshire, polling data continues to show increased support.
In fact, a PPP Survey (admitted a Democratic-leaning polling firm) shows support for legalization up to a record high of 57 percent nationwide--68 percent among Democrats, 42 percent among Republicans, and 59 percent with Independents.
A Gallup poll from October, 2011, revealed that support had reached 50 percent with 46 percent opposed.
I think we wave a trend here; as I've noted here previously, the margin was 55-45 in both Colorado and Washington last fall.
Now, we can legalize not only because it's the right thing to do, but beause it's what people want as well, always a comfortable situation. Former Senator Bert Cohen also offered results of a new WMUR/Granite State poll showing that 56 percent of New Hamshire residents would like to see marijuana sold and taxed as liquor is.
Here's the PPP poll as results appeared on Huffington Post.
Support was highest among Democrats -- 68 percent of whom favored legalization -- compared to 42 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents. An age gap was also in evidence, with 61 percent of voters under 30 supporting legal marijuana use, compared to 48 percent of those over 65.
A CBS poll released last week found less than a majority in support, with 47 percent saying marijuana should be legalized. That survey also reflected a shift, however, marking the first time that support for legalization outstripped opposition.
The difference in results could be partially because PPP's surveys use automated phone calls, while many other polls use live interviewers. An MPP press release suggested that voters might be uncomfortable telling an interviewer they support legalization.
"The tide of public opinion is changing both at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country," one letter, signed by 18 House members, read in part. "We believe that the collective judgment of voters and state lawmakers must be respected."