As photos of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie emerge of him lazing about closed down beaches, the tide is fast turning in the state’s debate over legalizing recreational weed. With Christie departing soon, New Jersey is likely to become the potential frontrunner for legal pot sales next year. So likely is it, that lawmakers are already anticipating ways that the weed market could support the state’s failing gambling business.
New Jersey voters are also looking forward to having legal pot around, as a recently released Quinnipiac University Poll indicates. According to the poll, 59 percent of people there now support decriminalizing cannabis for personal use. However, it is rather strange that 55 percent would “definitely not try” weed, even it were legal. This may suggest an increase in receptiveness among non-users toward pot reform, as well.
Demographically, Republican voters showed the most hesitancy. They were the only group that ultimately was not supportive of legalizing pot, with 53 percent voting against it. The poll also surveyed whether or not voters felt marijuana was safe to use, and the results boded well for future recreational laws. The tide is turning indeed, as people become more aware about the truth of using weed.
The poll showed that only 12 percent of New Jersey voters consider marijuana more hazardous than alcohol. Although 46 percent believe that weed and alcohol are as dangerous as each other are, it is encouraging to see that 38 percent now know that pot is safer than booze. However, Gov. Christie is an outspoken opponent of legalization, who staunchly refuses to address it even.
Fortunately, for cannabis enthusiasts in New Jersey, Christie is leaving office officially in January 2018. Working at the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis at the head of the White House, Governor Christie simply refuses even to acknowledge the crucial role of cannabis in treating addiction to opioids, despite widespread evidence of its effectiveness.
Speaking of Christie, the new poll also indicates that voters in New Jersey are not impressed with the performance of the governor. A staggering 79 percent of survey participants showed dissatisfaction with Christie’s time in office, and 61 percent are unhappy with President Donald Trump. Of politicians, a number of prominent New Jersey lawmakers are supportive of legalizing recreational marijuana.
A few months ago, Senator Cory Booker proposed legislation to end federal prohibition of marijuana, while Phil Murphy, 2018 gubernatorial hopeful for the state, has expressed his views as being staunchly in favor of legalization. For the survey, the Quinnipiac University Poll questioned over 1,100 eligible voters in New Jersey, and it provides crucial insight into the direction of the state for the near future.
While legislators eagerly await the lucrative taxes that a legal marijuana market would guarantee state coffers, residents in the Garden State are excited to be first to legalize cannabis in the tristate, hopefully beating Pennsylvania and New York to it. With poll results like these, it seems certain that New Jersey will soon join other states and regulate a legal pot industry.