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.