A new poll from Franklin & Marshall College suggests that 58% of voters in Pennsylvania want to see recreational marijuana use legalized in the state.
Two-thirds of Democrat supporters and independents are in favour of legalization, compared to 45% of Republicans. Support for legalization in Pennsylvania has remained consistent over the past two years, according to Franklin & Marshall College surveys, despite negative publicity around the lung illness outbreak, which has largely been associated with vaping illicit THC products.
The poll was taken this month and a total of 482 registered voters were surveyed for their opinions. The respondents said they would prefer to purchase recreational marijuana from private dispensaries rather than state-run liquor stores.
The findings follow a nationwide poll from Gallup that suggest 66% of Americans want to see adult-use cannabis legalized. That survey of 3,500 adults also showed a significant discrepancy between Democrats and independents and Republicans.
It showed that 76% of Democrats are in favour of legalization, as are 68% of independents, but just 51% of Republicans support it.
More Democrats than Republics completed the Franklin & Marshall College, which indicates that Pennsylvania is below average in terms of supporting marijuana legalization. However, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman recently completed a 93-day tour of 67 counties across the Keystone State, and he reported that 68% of people in Pennsylvania approve of legalization.
He asked for a show of hands at every gathering, and said that almost all of them were overall in favour of recreational cannabis being permitted. That convinced Gov. Tom Wolf to declare his support for legalization, and he implored lawmakers to get a bill on his desk.
Democratic senators Daylin Leach and Sharif Street submitted the Adult Use Cannabis bill on Oct.15, and it was widely praised by marijuana advocates. It includes provisions for home delivery, social use lounges and personal cultivation, while there is a strong social equity and criminal justice aspect to it.
Leach admits they face a tough battle in getting the bill through both chambers, but he noted that medical marijuana was also a challenge and it ultimately ended in success.