New Jersey: Legalization Initiative Continues to Enjoy Broad Voter Support

Two-thirds of likely voters say that they back a November ballot initiative to legalize the adult-use cannabis market, according to polling data commissioned by the law firm Brach Eichler LLC and initially reported by Marijuana Moment.

Sixty-six percent of respondents — including 77 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents, and 56 percent of Republicans — said that they support adult-use legalization. Those percentages are similar to those reported last month in a separate poll, which determined that 67 percent of those surveyed endorse the ballot measure.

The proposed ballot question reads: “Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’? Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The State commission created to oversee the State’s medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market. Cannabis products would be subject to the State sales tax. If authorized by the Legislature, a municipality may pass a local ordinance to charge a local tax on cannabis products.”

State lawmakers in December voted to place the measure on the ballot when they failed to successfully advance an adult-use legalization bill in the legislature.

Of those surveyed, 66 percent said that they supported expunging the criminal records of those with past, low-level marijuana convictions. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation into law late last year facilitating an expedited process for expunging the criminal records associated with minor marijuana-related violations. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed expressed support for allowing adults to purchase cannabis products online and to have those products delivered to their homes.

New Jersey is one of four states where voters will decide on legalization initiatives in November. Voters in Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota will decide on similar measures. Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota will vote on ballot proposals to medicalize marijuana use. A similar medical cannabis legalization measure is awaiting certification in Nebraska.

Additional information on this and other pending 2020 initiative efforts is available here.