Poll: Majority of Pa. voters support legalized marijuana

Support in Pennsylvania to fully legalize marijuana has reached a record high, according to a poll published Thursday by Franklin and Marshall College.

A majority of voters in the Keystone State, 59 percent, said “yes” when asked if cannabis should be made legal, said polling director Terry Madonna. When pollsters first began asking the question in 2006, only 22 percent were pro-pot.

“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.”

The Center for Opinion Research at F&M interviewed nearly 400 voters on behalf of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs between Sept. 13 and 18.

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,” he said. “So there’s nothing driving lawmakers to legalize it.”

Madonna said he stopped polling for opinions about medical marijuana last year.

“Once it was put into law, we ended it,” he said. “There was no reason to do it.”