More than half of Marylanders support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, according to a new poll.
A poll of 808 Maryland residents by Goucher College found 57 percent support marijuana legalization. Thirty-seven percent of those polled were opposed.
Those who identify as conservative or Republican, as well as those older than 55, offered the least support for marijuana legalization.
The strongest support for legalization comes from those who are political independents (66 percent) and people younger than 35 (69 percent).
Marijuana legalization has been discussed for years in the General Assembly, without gaining much traction. But Democratic leaders recently indicated they might be open to putting the matter on the statewide ballot in 2020 for voters to decide.
The latest Goucher Poll, released Monday morning, asked Marylanders about a variety of public policy debates playing out in the state capital. The poll found that many proposals put forth by Democrats are popular among state residents. The findings include:
- Support for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is 67 percent, with 30 percent opposed.
- Support for banning plastic foam products, such as carryout food containers, is 63 percent, with 31 percent opposed.
- Support for allowing terminally ill adults to obtain medication to end their lives is 62 percent, with 31 percent opposed.
- Support for raising the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 is 66 percent, with 31 percent opposed.
The poll also asked about racial justice issues and reported differing views between white and African-American residents. Asked if police treat people of all races equally, 18 percent of African-Americans agreed that’s the case, while 47 percent of white respondents said people are treated equally. And 69 percent of African-American respondents agreed racial minorities face discrimination at work, while just 47 percent of white respondents thought that is the case.
There was agreement, however, that “race relations in Maryland have gotten worse over the past few years,” with 54 percent of white respondents as well as 54 percent of African-Americans surveyed saying that is true.
The poll surveyed adults via landlines and cell phones between Feb. 7 and Feb. 12. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.