Survey

Public Opinion Poll: How do Utahns Feel About Legalizing Marijuana?


Earlier this week, we published an interview with a Utah mother—a self-described conservative Mormon—whose son suffers from Dravet syndrome and would, as a result, benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment. To assess how Utah voters feel about medical marijuana (and other issues dealing with the drug) Libertas Institute conducted the following opinion poll.

We surveyed 500 random Utah voters on August 27, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.

NEW: Those wishing to perform their own analysis of the survey results may download the full data here. Questions? Contact us.

1. In general, do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

2. Do you support or oppose outlawing the possession of alcohol and tobacco products, such as cigarettes, with similar penalties as currently exist for marijuana possession?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

3. Regardless of how you feel towards marijuana in general, do you support or oppose allowing individuals to possess and consume marijuana if their doctors recommend it?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

4. Despite a federal prohibition on marijuana, 21 of 50 states have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana to some degree. In these states, do you believe that the federal government should enforce the federal ban, or not enforce it?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

5. Do you believe that smoking marijuana for non-medical reasons is morally wrong?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

6. Have you ever tried marijuana?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

Here is the breakdown by religion:

Analysis

For obvious reasons, and unlike past surveys, we included a question in this survey to determine the religious affiliation of respondents. As can be seen in the results above, this provides extremely insightful data.

And while the data above is interesting in its own right, some of the cross analysis is quite enlightening. For example:

  • 31.0% of Utah voters who have tried marijuana also oppose legalizing it. We doubt such persons would have this stance were they to have been prosecuted under the law for their previous marijuana possession. 14.6% of those who have tried marijuana also oppose legalizing it even with a doctor’s recommendation.
  • 43.6% of Utah voters who oppose legalizing marijuana do not want similar penalties imposed upon alcohol and tobacco. As these substances are more harmful and a greater health to public safety, this position seems quite misguided.
  • 37.9% of respondents who oppose legalization in general do support legalization for medical purposes.
  • 54.3% of those who oppose legalizing marijuana want the federal ban enforced by the federal government.
  • 79.7% of those who believe the non-medical use of marijuana is immoral also oppose its legalization. Clearly, many Utahns are comfortable with imposing their views on morality upon others through government.
  • 40.7% of those who believe the non-medical use of marijuana is immoral still oppose legalization even for medical uses.

In our interview, Jennifer May said regarding her efforts to seek legalization for medical marijuana: “I think it’s an education issue, really. I think if Utahns were really educated and could see what I see, they would change their minds.” May and those working with her surprisingly start from a position of strength; a majority of Utah voters support marijuana use under a doctor’s recommendation.

  • icepick37

    LibertasUtah On what do you base the claim that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco?

  • icepick37

    LibertasUtah PS: In case that sounds like I’m being a dick: Just curious. Not bashing your claim.

  • LibertasUtah

    icepick37 Plenty of sources to point you to. Some good, easily digestible data in here: http://t.co/7ZIOCklT12

  • icepick37

    LibertasUtah Awesome. Thanks.

  • LibertasUtah

    icepick37 Good question, thanks. Just posted that link in the survey analysis for others to see.

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