Pennsylvania has seen a number of important changes to its marijuana laws in recent years. The biggest change was the legalization of medical marijuana.
Now, there is a rapidly growing movement to legalize recreational weed. And results from a new survey show high levels of popular support for this change. In fact, a majority of Pennsylvania voters now report supporting the legalization of recreational cannabis.
New Survey Results: Pennsylvanians Support Legalization
The new survey was carried out by researchers at Franklin and Marshall College. Researchers working on the project published results earlier today.
Arguably the most important data point coming out of the survey shows that a majority of survey respondents support legalization. Specifically, 59 percent of all those who participated in the survey said they are in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis.
As reported by local news source ABC27, this number represents big-time gains in popular support since the college first began conducting the survey.
Franklin and Marshall researchers first asked Pennsylvanians about marijuana back in May 2006. That year, only 22 percent of respondents supported the idea of legalizing recreational weed. Now, 13 years later that number has nearly tripled.
This year’s findings come from a survey of 540 adults who are registered voters in Pennsylvania.
Other Key Findings
Overall popular support is not the only thing the survey probed. In addition to this primary metric, researchers also broke down support for marijuana along a number of demographic and political lines.
Key findings through these efforts include:
- Voters who identify as independent were the most likely to support legalizing recreational weed. Among this group, 71 percent of survey respondents said they are in favor of legalization.
- Democratic voters were the second most likely to support legalization, with 71 percent of survey respondents voicing support.
- Republican voters were the least likely to support legalization. Only 39 percent of people in this group said they are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.
- Older survey respondents were less likely to support legalization than younger respondents.
- A full 80 percent of survey respondents under the age of 35 are in favor of recreational weed. Meanwhile, 67 percent of voters between 35 and 54 support legalization and 41 percent of folks older than 55 support it.
Pennsylvania and Cannabis
These new survey results come as Pennsylvania continues to explore the possibility of altering its cannabis laws. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in the state.
As part of its medical marijuana program, Pennsylvania has been ramping up efforts to research medical marijuana. Specifically, the state has authorized a number of universities to carry out research projects.
The state is now in the process of pairing each research facility with a licensed medical marijuana provider. These providers will handle actual medical marijuana and will work directly with medical marijuana patients. Additionally, providers will provide research facilities with raw patient data.
Simultaneously, efforts are underway to move closer toward legalizing recreational weed. Earlier this month, a pair of Pennsylvania senators unveiled a plan to legalize recreational marijuana.
Almost immediately, the bill received opposition from conservatives in the state. Despite that, the bill’s sponsors are actively seeking support from lawmakers throughout the state.