New Jersey: Voter Support Solidly in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Ahead of Ballot Initiative Vote

Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

Sixty-five percent likely voters say that they will vote ‘yes’ in favor of a November ballot initiative to legalize the adult-use cannabis market, according to polling data commissioned by the law firm Brach Eichler LLC. The percentage is consistent with those of prior polls, including an August survey of likely voters which showed that 66 percent of respondents backed the measure.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Independents, and 56 percent of Republicans expressed support for the ballot question in the latest poll. Overall, only 29 percent of New Jerseyans opposed the 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.

Commenting on the poll results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Most New Jersey voters agree that it is time to stop low-level marijuana arrests, regulate the commercial cannabis market, and drive necessary tax revenue to those communities hardest hit by the decades-long failure of criminal prohibition. Time and time again, state politicians have failed to amend the state’s adult-use laws. This November, voters have the opportunity to take matters into their own hand and to usher in these necessary and long-overdue reforms.”

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 adult-se measures. Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota will vote on ballot proposals to medicalize marijuana use.

Additional information on these and other initiative efforts is available from NORML’s Election Central.