Most Coloradans support newly legalized marijuana, according to a new poll, though they admit by the same margin that it will probably increase illegal drug smuggling to other states.
Nevertheless, they don’t think the new law will create a drug abuse problem and the vast majority of those polled say they won’t start smoking pot just because it will be available at retail stores starting in January.
The Quinnipiac poll shows that voters support the new law 54-41 percent.
Democrats are most supportive, with 73 percent in favor, followed by 54 percent of unaffiliated voters. Republicans oppose legal pot 63-35 percent.
Perhaps not surprisingly in a state that has become synonymous with legalization efforts, half of Colorado voters admit to smoking pot in the past. But only 15 percent say they’ll try it once it’s sold in stores.
“There are partisan differences but no gender gap as Colorado voters support legalization of marijuana,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a release.
“Many voters admit they’ve tried pot, but don’t expect a Rocky Mountain high once marijuana becomes legal,” he said.
Although marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, an unnamed Colorado official who has been in contact with the U.S. Justice Department about the possibility of a federal crackdown on the state’s new law told TPM the state has “tacit approval” from the feds to regulate marijuana.
“They’re well aware of what we’ve been up to,” the source is quoted as saying. “I do think that it’s fair to say that we have their tacit approval at this point.”
Officials in Washington state, which also legalized pot in November, say they’ve gotten the same message.
“They’ve not indicated that they’re going to try to stop us,” a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee, said. “We’re operating as if this is a go, and we haven’t been told otherwise.”
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