A majority of registered voters in New Jersey are in favor of a proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use that will appear on the state’s November ballot, according to a poll released Thursday. Monmouth University’s survey asked respondents to weigh in on the cannabis legalization referendum question that lawmakers placed on the ballot and to give their opinions on the potential risks and benefits of the policy change.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said they would vote in support of the proposal, while 34 percent said they’d vote against it. That means the issue is more popular and stands to receive more votes than President Trump, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)—all of whom will appear on the same ballot as the marijuana question. Asked how they would vote if the election were today, 38 percent said they’d vote for Trump, 54 percent would go with Biden, and, for the Senate race, 58 percent would vote Booker.
Crosstabs of the survey shows that support for the measure is highest among Democratic respondents (74 percent). Sixty-four percent of independents and 40 percent of Republicans said they’d vote in favor of the referendum. As has historically been the case, the issue is most popular among young people 18-34. Seventy-eight percent of that demographic backs the legalization question, while 62 percent of those 35-54 and 48 percent of those 55 and older support the policy.
The survey also generally asked about allowing individuals 21 and older to possess small amounts of cannabis, and 64 percent said they did, compared to 32 percent who said they oppose it. Interestingly, only a 48 percent plurality of New Jersey residents said in response to a separate question that it’s a good idea in to let adults purchase marijuana from a licensed retailer—which is what the referendum would accomplish. Thirty percent said it was a bad idea and 22 percent said they didn’t have an opinion.