Austin, TX: Nearly six out of ten Texas voters support legalizing marijuana and regulating its production and sale in a manner similar to alcohol, according to survey data released this week by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support "changing Texas law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older." Thirty-eight percent of voters opposed the idea.
Men and women nearly equally supported legalization, with 59 percent of males and 57 percent of females endorsing it. Self-identified Democratic voters strongly favored legalization. Among Democrats, 70 percent endorsed legalizing marijuana. Fifty-seven percent of Independents and 48 percent of Texas Republicans also expressed support for regulating marijuana like alcohol.
In response to separate polling questions, 61 percent of Texas voters said that they supported decriminalizing minor pot possession offenses by replacing existing criminal penalties with civil fines only. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed also expressed support for allowing the physician-recommended use of medical cannabis.
This past spring, state lawmakers rejected a pair of bills which sought to lessen minor marijuana possession penalties and allow for certain patients to present an affirmative defense of medical marijuana necessity at trial.
Eight hundred and sixty randomly selected voters participated in the survey, which has a margin of error of ± 3.3 percent.
The Texas poll is the latest in a wave of recent statewide surveys showing majority voter support for legalizing cannabis, including state-specific polls in California, Louisiana, Maryland, and Michigan.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.