A new poll out of Quinnipiac University confirms what is continuing to be a national trend – folks want legal pot for personal use.
While the poll doesn’t ask how people should get it (full recreational with state sanctioned sale) it found that possession of small amounts for personal use should not be a crime in the Commonwealth.
“They want adults to be able to use marijuana on a recreational basis,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
According to the poll, Virginia voters support allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use by almost 60%. Opposition also exists, with 61% of Republicans and 60% of voters over 65 years old saying no dice, but all other listed groups support legalized marijuana.
An overwhelming, 92% support allowing adults to use marijuana for medical use if a doctor prescribes it. Virginia already has a medical pot law on the books but it is illegal for anyone to sell it, even a pharmacist for medical reasons.
Attempts to alter pot laws have faced massive resistance from conservatives in Richmond. Support for reducing pot convictions was just as impressive last fall according to a VCU Douglas Wilder School poll which found “the majority of Virginians (78%) support reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a fine of $100 instead of a misdemeanor conviction.”
But legislation to reduce the sentences for possession was killed in committee.
At the national level, Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett spent his first two months in DC developing pro-pot legislation because of the disproportionate impact such laws have on racial minorities.
But Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions has said he plans to move the opposite direction, cracking down on pot laws, though specifics are not yet in place.
Details on the poll:
From April 6 – 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,115 Virginia voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.
top image via Brett Levin Flickr