Pennsylvania: Support for Recreational Cannabis Nears 60%

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Nearly six in 10 Pennsylvanians support social cannabis regulation, a dramatic upturn over the past decade, a new poll shows

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Fifty-Nine percent of the roughly 400 voters surveyed approve of adult-use cannabis legalization, according to a poll by Franklin & Marshall College Center for Opinion Research.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the statistic is dramatically up from the 22% who supported legalization in 2006, the first year the Lancaster-based college started polling Pennsylvanians about social cannabis legalization.

"A majority of voters in the Keystone State, 59 percent, said “yes” when asked if cannabis should be made legal," said Franklin & Marshall College Center for Opinion Research's polling director, Terry Madonna. Only 22 percent were pro-pot, when pollsters first asked the question in 2006.

“Notice the evolution. It’s been a slow and inexorable growth in support during the past decade,” Madonna said. “And it’s important, because Pennsylvania has had a history of being a relatively conservative state on social questions. Nobody has every accused it of being on the cultural vanguard.”

"What the poll didn’t measure was the intensity of the voters’ support," Madonna said.

“When you ask them what they think is most important problem, legalization of pot does not come up. It doesn’t have a lot of intensity,” Madonna proclaimed. “So there’s nothing driving lawmakers to legalize it.”

Pennsylvania currently is working to launch the medical cannabis program in 2018, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law in 2016.

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