POLL: Coloradans Evenly Split on Pot Legalization

October 12, 2012
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Coloradans are closely divided on the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana, according to a new poll

DENVER –Colorado voters are almost evenly divided on the question of whether or not to decriminalize marijuana, according to a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday.

Less than a month before Election Day, and less than a week before many voters receive their mail-in ballots, 45 percent of poll respondents supported legalizing marijuana use in Colorado, while 46 percent opposed it.  Another 8 percent were undecided.

Support for ending marijuana prohibition was strongest among Democrats and those between 18 and 34 years old.  Both groups backed legalization by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

The strongest resistence to decriminalization was found among Republicans, who opposed it by a margin of 65 percent to 29.

Men and women were divided on the question.  Men supported legalization by a spread of five points – 49 percent to 44, while women opposed it by a margin of 48 percent to 42.

The poll results suggest that Amendment 64, a proposed citizen-led initiative on the November ballot that would make Colorado the first state in the nation to allow for the regulated, non-medical use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older, could be headed for a photo finish on election night.

“This election – for this issue and the presidential election – are going to be close based on the polling we’ve got now,” said Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a leading opponent of Amendment 64.  “The winner will be determined by turnout.”

“No surprises [in this poll],” said former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo, a vocal supporter of legalization.  “I just hope Republicans will not fall into the trap that so often snares our liberal friends — that is to cast a vote based on emotion and not logic.”

The Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll was conducted between October 4 and October 9, surveyed 1,254 likely Colorado voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

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