Six in 10 New Jersey adults support legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a report from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, amidst an agreement Gov. Phil Murphy and top lawmakers struck last week on legal cannabis.
The Monday poll, which interviewed 604 New Jersey adults between Feb. 8 and 10, found that 62 percent of respondents favored legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, compared to 32 percent of adults who said no to the prospect of legal marijuana in New Jersey.
We find widespread public support for legalizing marijuana, but the devil is in the details.
“A major reason for public support of the current proposal is the expectation it will boost tax revenues,” Pat Murray, director of the polling institute, said in a statement.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said it would support the state economy, while 40 percent of respondents who support legal cannabis said it would boost tax revenue for New Jersey.
A vast majority – 81 percent – of the millennial, 18 to 34 year old age group, support legalizing marijuana, compared to 74 percent of adults aged 35 to 54, and 67 percent of adults 55 and older.
Residents were a bit cooler to the current plan from state lawmakers to regulate businesses which would sell marijuana to people over 21 years of age — only half of respondents supported the plan.
“We find widespread public support for legalizing marijuana, but the devil is in the details,” Murray said. “A question mark for some New Jerseyans is whether the state can set up an adequate regulatory system.”
The agreement between Murphy, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, calls for taxing weed at $42 an ounce.
A five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission would oversee the state’s marijuana industry, and Murphy would be able to appoint three of the members without requiring Senate approval.