A pair of unrelated polls show Michigan's voters are in support of legalizing the adult use of marijuana for those over 21 years of age.
An EPIC-MRA poll commissioned by Michigan's NORML chapter (MINORML) was released March 28 showing a 53% support for legalization, with the strongest support shown among male and liberal voters.
"Voters who participated in one of the past two general elections (mostly presidential election voters), would vote "yes" by 71%, which means that as the November election nears and more presidential election voters become engaged, support for marijuana legalization would likely increase. Younger voters age 18-34 were most supportive among age groups (75%), while voters age 65 and over were most opposed (63%)," said pollster Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA in a press release dated March 28.
Marijuana law reform is active in Michigan. Several legalization proposals are currently collecting signatures and there are multiple bills facing the legislature to decriminalize or legalize adult use of cannabis. A 3% increase in public support is a significant increase.
"We had estimated that support for legalization is increasing at the rate of about 2% per year, and these results are consistent with that analysis," said MINORML Executive Director Matthew Abel, who is also on the Board of MILEGALIZE, one of the ballot proposals trying to put marijuana legalization on the November 2016 ballot.
"A solid majority of Michiganders (with even greater support nationwide) now support the legalization of marijuana."
The EPIC-MRA/MINORML poll results support that estimate. Women aged 18-49 support legalization in Michigan by 59%. Also contained in the poll results: the fact that 57% of all those who did NOT vote in the Presidential Primary Election held in Michigan on March 8 would support marijuana legalization.
All income brackets seem to support marijuana legalization in the March 28 poll:
Household Incomes Under $25,000: 57%
Household Income $25,000-$50,000: 55%
Household Income $50,000-$75,000: 58%
Household Income $75,000-$100,000: 55%
Household Income more than $100,000: 55% support
Historically, this poll shows the steady increase of support in Michigan for marijuana legalization for adults. "In December of 2014, a 50% bare majority said they would vote "yes" on a question with similar wording, with 46% opposed.
"Also, in a survey conducted in September of 2013 for Michigan NORML, a 47 percent plurality said they favored a proposal to "legalize marijuana by taxing and regulating it like alcohol." Only 26% said they prefer to "continue our present system of state criminal penalties for marijuana offenses," with another 16% who said they want to "replace criminal penalties for marijuana offenses with a fine," and 4% who say "repeal all state criminal penalties for marijuana offenses," Porn wrote in his press release.
Support at the polls for MILegalize in November 2016 will be more than 55 %, Abel predicted.
"This poll is a clear reflection of evolving attitudes towards cannabis in Michigan," said Brad Forrester, a Board member of the Michigan NORML chapter.
"Since 2013, Michigan NORML has commissioned poll questions to gauge voter support for reducing the criminal penalties attached to cannabis cultivation, possession and use. Each year that number has increased as voters have become more educated about the true harms and benefits of this God-given plant."
The poll question read as follows:
"If there are enough valid petition signatures collected in the coming months, a proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in Michigan will be placed on the November election ballot. If approved by voters, the proposal would allow for the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana to adults age 21 and over. It would impose an excise tax of up to 10 percent on the sale of non-medical marijuana, with the funding provided earmarked for education, improvements to roads and bridges, and to supplement the budgets of local governments if they license the sale of marijuana in their community. The proposal would provide regulations to protect the public, give local governments the authority to decide if they want to allow the sale of marijuana in their community, and to draft zoning and licensing ordinances to regulate commercial activity. Finally, it would authorize statewide cultivation and processing of industrial hemp.
Based on this description and what you know or have heard or read about this proposal, if the election were held today, would you vote Yes in favor of the proposal, or No, to reject it?"
Additional qualifying statements followed, based on the response given to pollsters on this initial inquiry.
A press release indicates a second poll found that 54% of Michigan residents would support marijuana legalization, but offered no additional documentation or supporting parameters. It was supposedly conducted by Survey USA, but a search of their website revealed no data to support the poll's release and the only verification links found in the press release lead to dubious marijuana-industry sources. The Survey USA front page (www.surveyusa.com/) and the page titled Poll History (www.surveyusa.com/PollHistory.aspx) do not show any results for a poll reflecting this subject matter.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles