A poll commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-marijuana legalization organization, showed that a majority of New Mexicans support legalizing marijuana. The poll also showed a majority of New Mexico voters indicated support for reducing the penalties for possession to just a civil penalty and a fine.
The bill was conducted by Albuquerque firm Research & Polling, Inc. The firm is best known for its polling for the Albuquerque Journal.
The eye-popping number is that 52 percent of registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana. This is opposed to 40 percent who oppose it.
The poll finds that 57 percent of registered voters either strongly favor somewhat favor reducing the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Meanwhile, 38 percent either strongly oppose or somewhat oppose a reduction in penalties.
The polling memo is available below thanks to Steve Terrell at Roundhouse Roundup (NM Telegram requested the polling memo but did not receive it).
Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, is proposing a joint resolution that would call on voters to decide whether or not to add marijuana legalization to the state constitution.
Other interesting numbers from the crosstabs:
- A state representative candidate supporting a legalization effort would make no difference to 34 percent of voters, make 32 percent more likely to vote for that candidate and make 28 percent less likely to support that candidate.
- A plurality of voters (40 percent) say that it would not make a difference if a state representative supported or opposed reducing penalties for marijuana possession. Meanwhile 30 percent said supporting the reduction of penalties would make them more likely to vote for the candidate and 23 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the candidate.
- Democrats and independents were more likely to support legalization than Republicans. Nearly two-thirds — 63 percent — of Democrats polling expressed support for legalization and 50 percent of independents. Meanwhile just 38 percent of Republicans said they would support legalization.
- The youngest voters were also the most likely to support legalization. The poll found that 65 percent of 18-34 year olds supported legalizing and taxing marijuana. This is compared to 55 percent of 35 to 49 year olds, 50 percent of 50 to 64 year olds and 35 percent of those over 65.
- Hispanics supported legalization by a 53 percent to 36 percent margin. Anglos supported it by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin.
The poll of 514 registered voters has a 4.4 percent margin of error.