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Was Mixed Pot Message Toxic to Ohio Vote?

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Ohio voters yesterday rejected by nearly a two-to-one margin a ballot initiative that would have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, but mixing the two into one vote may have been supporters’ biggest mistake.

Rasmussen Reports national polling has consistently found for several years now that voters are a lot more sympathetic to allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes than to okaying it just for pleasure.

As recently as February, 65% of Likely U.S. Voters favored the sale of marijuana for medical use in their state. But just 43% supported the legalization of recreational marijuana in their home state, down from a high of 48% last December, while 45% were opposed. 

So far, 23 states and Washington, D.C. allow the sale of marijuana for medicinal use. Four states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Nebraska and Oklahoma have sued Colorado to overturn its legalization of pot, saying it is causing spillover drug problems in their states. But just one-in-three voters (34%) agree with their decision to sue Colorado for legalizing marijuana use

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While voters nationally still aren’t sold on the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana, they continue to downplay the importance of individual pot use.

Only 24% believe it should be a crime for people to smoke marijuana in their own home or in the home of a friend.  Just 34% think it should be a crime for someone to grow marijuana in his or her own home for personal consumption.

It’s interesting to note, too, that while Americans would never think of returning to the dry days of alcohol Prohibition, 51% consider alcohol more dangerous than marijuana. Just 24% consider pot the more dangerous of the two.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters also now favor the use of alternative drug treatment programs instead of jail time for those convicted of non-violent, drug-related crimes. 

Dangling tax revenue in front of voters helps pro-pot supporters. Support for legalization of recreational use climbs to 49% when voters are asked if they support legalizing and taxing marijuana; 38% are still opposed.

Overwhelming majorities of Americans across the demographic spectrum also agree that despite the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on it, the United States is losing the war on drugs

In August of last year, 11% said they had smoked marijuana within the past year, but Americans were evenly divided over whether marijuana use leads to using harder drugs. 

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