Residents of New Jersey remain divided when it comes to the issue of legalized marijuana. At least that appears to be the consensus of a recent poll, which finds that only by a margin of one percent do the people of the Garden State support legal weed. Yet, on a positive note, they believe alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than pot.
A new Monmouth University/ Asbury Park Press Poll, which is the first survey released since legislation to legalize the leaf was proposed last month by Senator Nicholas Scutari, found that 48 percent of New Jersey residents believe the state should legalize recreational marijuana, while an almost equal 47 percent say it is a bad idea.
Despite the split, the survey found that the majority of respondents -- 59 percent -- think alcohol and tobacco are more of a detriment to public health than marijuana. Interestingly, the poll shows that the majority of support for marijuana legalization comes from younger adult males.
Nearly 40 percent of those polled reported smoking marijuana at some point in their life.
“The marijuana debate has been engaged and neither side has the distinct advantage right now,” said Patrick Murray with the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “There isn’t a lot of support for the Scutari proposal, but most people actually see alcohol and tobacco use as bigger dangers. Perhaps some of the opposition may simply be a reaction against legalizing something that has been illicit for so long.”
Regardless of the survey results, it appears as though it could be some time before a taxed and regulated marijuana industry happens in New Jersey. In a recent town hall meeting, Governor Christie said that while he may be flexible about making changes to the states medical marijuana program, he refuses to budge on the issue of recreational marijuana, even going as far as to say that he would have to be voted out of office before legal weed would have a chance. “I’m not going to do that on my watch,” said Christie. “If you want someone who will, you’re going to have to elect a different governor.”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.