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New Poll: Swing States Support the Legalization of Marijuana

Some of the more gutsy 2016 presidential candidates may soon take a more pot-friendly position in regard to their campaigns after seeing the results from the latest Quinnipiac University poll. The survey found an impressive majority of voters in the swing states of Florida and Ohio support the elimination of prohibition in the United States, while the voting population in Pennsylvania remains divided on whether tax-paying citizens should be allowed to use recreational marijuana.

Although there is a lot of focus these days on women and weed, there are apparently more men in swing states that support the legalization of marijuana than women, according to the poll. But despite the gender gap, most of the respondents agree on one thing: they probably wouldn’t even smoke weed “recreationally” if it were legal.

“If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then the Red Planet might be the more spacey place,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “That’s because men are more likely than women to support legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Not surprisingly support for the change is linked to age, with younger voters more likely to see personal use of pot as a good thing.”

While support for full-blown legalization is strong, it appears that all of the mainstream attention on the herb has manifested an outpouring of support for the medical sector. The poll found that only around 1 in 10 people in these states are opposed the legalizing the leaf medicinal reasons.

Next month, voters will decide on ResponsibleOhio’s controversial Issue 3, which has a fighting chance of passing if the latest data holds any weight. Fifty-three percent of the voting public in Ohio said they support legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, while 44 percent said they were opposed. Of course, more men than women support the issue by a 59 percent to 38 percent margin.

With Florida, which has two groups currently working to get the issue of marijuana on the 2016 ballot, the margin is considerably closer, with 51 percent supporting an end to prohibition and 45 percent all for keeping it in place. Similar to Ohio, support on this issue is predominately male—57 percent—with women ranking in at 41 percent.

“The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough,” Brown explained. “In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the state constitution.”

Pennsylvania voters were almost evenly split on the issue of legalizing weed for recreational use: 47 percent back it, while 49 percent are opposed.

Overall, the poll is consistent with several other surveys that have surfaced over the course of the past year suggesting that the majority of the American population is ready to put marijuana prohibition in the history books.

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