A recent Rutgers University poll found strong majority support for NJ adult-use cannabis legalization and homegrow in New Jersey. A Stockton University poll found similar for legalization while asking about the cannabis industry.
One year after legal adult-use cannabis sales began in New Jersey, 78 percent of residents agree that its medicinal benefits outweigh potential risks and harms. Fifty-eight percent said the same about the benefits of recreational use, according to a New Jersey State Policy Lab survey on attitudes toward cannabis.
Majority Support for NJ Adult-use Cannabis Legalizations Remains High
The poll of 2,000 residents included a demographic breakdown. It also revealed that more than half the respondents, 55 percent, reported smoking weed at least once, according to survey data collected by the Eagleton Institute for the New Jersey State Policy Lab, both at Rutgers University.
Charles E. Menifield, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark, and Yong Chan Rhee, a doctoral student at Rutgers University-Newark, authored the report.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported that they currently smoke cannabis. But only half of those surveyed answered the question. That was despite being assured their answers were confidential.
Ninety-one percent agreed that cannabis could help people with certain medical conditions. Almost two-thirds, 63 percent, agreed that it should be legal for adults to grow marijuana for personal use.
The survey is one of the first to gauge Jerseyans’ attitudes and usage since voters approved the recreational sale of cannabis in the fall of 2021, joining 20 other states that have done the same.
“A very large percentage of residents thinks it’s okay to purchase and use marijuana for personal consumption,’’ said Menifield. “The findings are consistent with citizens’ perceptions based on their votes approving the ballot referendum.’’
As the state continues to develop its regulation of cannabis sale, usage, and possession, survey results like these are useful, he said.
“Public attitudes are critical for policymakers on many levels,’’ said Menifield.
“Hence, it’s important for all bureaucrats to know where people stand in relation to this.’’
Poll Shows Majority Support Homegrow
The majority of New Jersey residents at 63 percent support legalizing adults growing cannabis for personal use. A comfortable majority of all demographics broken down support adult-use cannabis homegrow.
Three-quarters of Democrats supported legalizing adults growing cannabis for personal use at 76 percent. That’s along with a majority at 54 percent of Republicans.
Respondents with a high school diploma or less (57 percent) supported legalizing adults growing marijuana. That’s compared to more than 60 percent of those with at least some college education.
The poll also found adult-use cannabis homegrow support across racial and ethnic groups. Black and White respondents agreed that adults should be able to grow marijuana at 60 percent of Black people and 64 percent of White people. Support among Hispanic residents was 58 percent. It was 56 percent for Asian respondents.
In addition, Rutgers University found New Jersey adult-use cannabis homegrow support in the majority across all income levels. To fin the numbers, you have to add “Strongly agree” with “Somewhat agree”.
The New Jersey State Policy Lab noted it received funding from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to conduct the poll.
Stockton Poll on Cannabis Industry
The Stockton University poll asked more about the cannabis industry to a far smaller sample of people at 660.
Fifty-three percent supported dispensaries selling cannabis in their town. With legalization implementation underway, it has become a hot topic.
A majority also supported allowing cannabis lounges. Fifty-four percent opposed the state ban on selling food at lounges.