A poll was released yesterday by the University of New Hampshire which found majority support for marijuana legalization in New Hampshire, as well as overwhelming support for marijuana decriminalization. Below are excerpts from the poll:
Support for legalizing marijuana and taxing it like alcohol remains stable. Three in five Granite Staters support a current bill that would decriminalize marijuana offenses. Almost half of New Hampshire residents would prefer the Legislature legalizing and taxing marijuana instead of decriminalizing or keeping laws the way they are now.
Last year, New Hampshire became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Last month, the New
Hampshire House killed a bill that would have legalized marijuana for recreational use. There is modest support for
legalizing recreational marijuana in New Hampshire -- 55% support legalizing marijuana for recreational use (39% strongly and 16% somewhat), 38% oppose (29% strongly and 9% somewhat), 6% are neutral and 2% are unsure.
Support for recreational marijuana legalization is strongest among liberals (72%), Manchester area residents (68%), young people (67%), Democrats (65%) and high school graduates (65%). Opposition is strongest among regular churchgoers (63% oppose), older residents (56%), residents along the Massachusetts border (53%), Republicans (51%) and conservatives (47%).
If marijuana were legalized in the Granite State, two-thirds (67%) of New Hampshire residents approve of selling marijuana at licensed retail outlets and being taxed similar to alcohol (50% strongly and 17% somewhat), 30% disapprove of this idea (24% strongly and 6% somewhat), 3% are neutral and 1% are unsure. Support for this idea has increased eleven percentage points since this time last year.
Liberals (83%), Manchester area residents (79%), Democrats (77%) and young people (77%) are most likely to approve of this concept while regular churchgoers (51% oppose), Republicans (46%), older adults (42%), conservatives (42%) and North Country residents (41%) are most likely to disapprove.
Although the bill to legalize marijuana was voted down, the New Hampshire House did pass a decriminalization bill
(HB1625) that would reduce penalties for minor marijuana offenses and make the punishment similar to minor traffic
violations. Three in five (61%) Granite Staters favor decriminalization (49% strongly, 12% somewhat), 24% oppose it (20% strongly, 4% somewhat), 3% are neutral and 12% don't know enough to say.
While Democrats (72%) are more likely to support decriminalization, it is also supported by 69% of independents and 48% of Republicans. Liberals (73%) and Manchester area residents (71%) are more likely to support decriminalization while frequent churchgoers (43% oppose), older residents (39%), and North Country residents (39%) are more likely to oppose decriminalization.
When asked what they would prefer the state legislature to do with marijuana laws, 49% want marijuana legalized and
taxed like alcohol, 18% want it decriminalized, 29% want to keep marijuana laws as they are now and 5% don't know or are unsure.
Majorities of Democrats (57%) and Independents (57%) prefer legalizing and taxing marijuana, while Republicans are more divided on the issue as 37% prefer legalization and 37% prefer keeping laws the way they are now.
Legalization is most likely to be preferred by young people (67%), high school graduates (62%), liberals (61%) and residents of the Manchester area (66%) and North Country (60%). Decriminalization is most likely to be preferred by residents with a postgraduate education (29%). Keeping the laws as they are now is more likely to be preferred by regular churchgoers (51%), older residents (45%), conservatives (41%) and residents along the Mass Border (39%).