Arizona poll indicates poor level of support for legalization

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A pro-cannabis legalization campaign in Arizona could struggle to get enough signatures, say Monmouth University researchers. According to a group from the University that carried out a recent poll, just 51 percent of respondents said that they would vote for legal weed, while 41 percent would not.

An additional six percent of poll respondents felt unsure about their views on cannabis legalization in Arizona and three percent revealed that they would dodge the measure if it were to appear on the ballot.

With just a few weeks to go until the election takes place, lobbyists have their work cut out if they want to sway people’s opinions. On the other hand, a different survey published in July discovered that 62 percent of Arizonans believe that a cannabis legalization law should be enacted statewide.

Democrats most likely to support cannabis legalization in Arizona  

Monmouth University’s most recent poll on cannabis legalization in California indicated that Democrats were the most supportive political party 67 percent of Democrats favor the measure, as opposed to 59 percent of independents and 32 percent of Republicans.

There was also a clear difference in support between certain age groups 60 percent of voters aged 18 to 49 say they will vote for cannabis legalization in Arizona, as well as the vast majority of voters up to the age of 64. Although most age groups claim that they will back the measure at the forthcoming elections, state residents aged 65 and over dismissed the measure by a margin of 34 percent to 59 percent.

Aside from determining the level of support for cannabis legalization in Arizona among different political parties and age groups, the researchers also assessed responses based on the type of household. For example, the findings revealed that 57 percent of respondents living in households with military service members or veterans were supportive of Arizona’s cannabis legalization proposal, while just 47 percent of non-military or vet households were on board.

The poll also showed that Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden is trailing ahead of President Donald Trump at 48 percent to 44 percent. A total of 420 registered voters participated in the interviews for Monmouth University’s poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points. It was carried out between September 11 and 15.

What does the prospect of cannabis legalization in Arizona look like?

Back in July, a group of activists submitted 420,000 raw signatures for Arizona’s cannabis legalization initiative. The following month, the measure qualified for a November ballot vote. If approved, adults residing in the state could legally possess a maximum of one ounce of cannabis and grow no more than six plants for personal consumption.

Various restorative justice provisions are also contained in the initiative; e.g. launching a social equity ownership program and granting expungements among those who have been charged with a cannabis-related offense.

All products sold under the program, which would be regulated by The Department of Health Services, are expected to be taxed at 16 percent. This revenue would be distributed among public services, infrastructure, justice reinvestment efforts and community colleges. It would also be used to cover the costs of implementing a legal cannabis program.

A separate initiative to legalize cannabis in Arizona was narrowly rejected in 2016.