Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly favor the legalization of marijuna prescribed for medical reasons but are divided on the kind of recreational use legalization enacted in Colorado and Washington.
That one of the chief findings of a survey released Monday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The findings closely track the results of a survey released last week by the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.
In the Mercyhurst poll, 48 percent favored leagalizing marijuna for all adults, while 42 percent were opposed. For medical use, however, 85 percent of the state's resident approved.
That's almost identical to Quinnipiac's 85 percent to 14 percent finding in favor of medical marijuana use. On recreational use, the Quinnipiac researchers found that 48 percent were in favor and 49 percent opposed. That fairly even overalll split aggregates major demographic fissures on the issue. Men supported recreation use 55 percent to 42 percent; women were opposed by an almost identical margin, 54 percent to 42 percent.
Interestingly, in the context of the Democratic race for governor, a sizable majority of Democrats, 58 percent to 39 percent, favored legalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuna for personal use. Republicans, on the other hand, were overwhelmingly oppopsed to recreational legalization _ 66 percent to 31 percent.
Former DEP Secretary John Hanger has made the legalization and taxation of marijuana a pillar of his campaign for the Democratic nomination. His position has pushed the issue in the issue in the Democratic race. Largely in response to Hanger's lead on the issue, several of his rivals have come around to endorsing decriminalization of marijuana, although the definition of decriminalization varies.
The Quinnipiac survey also assessed the question of whether same-sex marriage should be approved in Pennsylvania. The overall result was 57 in favor and 37 percent opposed. Republicans, however, opposed the marriage change, by 59 percnet to 36 percent. Independent voters favored same-sex marriage by about the same margin as the overall sample while a big majority of Democrats were in favor _ 74 percent to 22 percent.