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Survey: Most Michigan voters want recreational pot legalized

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The DEA announced that marijuana will continue to classified as a Class I drug stating the drug has "has no accepted medical use in the United States."

Michigan voters have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to recreational marijuana.

According to the latest State of the State Survey from Michigan State University, 61 percent of voters are in favor of legalization, while only five percent remain undecided.

“Marijuana legalization is the only issue with fewer than 15 percent undecided. Since the marijuana initiative has a large lead with relatively few undecideds, it appears likely that it will pass,” said MSU economics professor Charles Ballard, the director of SOSS.

When the results are broken down by age, only 30 percent of voters over 65 said they support legalization. However, 62 percent of voters age 30 to 64 support it, while a whopping 80 percent under age 30 are in favor. 

Ballard says that means turnout could make a difference at the polls this November. 

"If the young folks don't come to the polls and the old folks [come] in huge numbers, that could be enough to reverse even this big lead," Ballard says. "But it does seem like an awfully big lead.”

In the survey, voters were also asked about their position on an anti-gerrymandering initiative that will appear on the ballot. If it passes, the initiative would create a commission of citizens to draw legislative district lines.

The survey says 53 percent of voters are support the initiative, while 27 percent oppose it. But 20 percent remain undecided. Ballard says that leaves plenty of room for things to change.

"Also, everybody that I talk to is expecting that those who have benefited from the current situation will invest millions and millions of dollars in a campaign to defeat [the initiative],” Ballard said.

Legislative district boundaries were last redrawn in 2011, under a Republican-controlled House.

“It’s not surprising that Democrats are more favorable toward this initiative than Republicans, with 62 percent of Democrats in favor,” Ballard said. “However, even Republicans tend to support the move away from gerrymandering, with 45 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.” 

With November still six months away, Ballard says it’s still pretty early to make predictions. He says another survey will be conducted over the summer, as the election draws closer.


Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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