Poll: Ohioans support legalizing pot

By Marc Kovac



Voters in Ohio and two other swing states overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

But they’re more evenly split on the issue of recreational usage, with Ohio and Florida voters supporting the notion and Pennsylvania voters opposing it.

Most of those voters also told the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute that they would either “definitely not use” or “probably not use” recreational marijuana if it were legal to do so.

“If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then the Red Planet might be the more spacey place,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a released statement. “That’s because men are more likely than women to support legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Not surprisingly support for the change is linked to age, with younger voters more likely to see personal use of pot as a good thing.”

Quinnipiac regularly gauges opinions of Ohioans.

and voters in other swing states on candidates and issues.

Its latest survey included 1,180 Ohio voters, 1,173 Florida voters and 1,049 Pennsylvania voters; the results have a margin of error of about 3 percentage points.

Ninety percent of Ohio and Pennsylvania voters and 87 percent of Florida voters support legalized medical marijuana.

A little more than half of Ohio and Florida voters (53 percent and 51 percent, respectively) said they would support allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. In Pennsylvania, proponents and opponents were statistically tied.

A total of 65-66 percent of voters in the three states said they would “definitely not use” recreational marijuana, while another 18-19 percent said they probably would not use the drug if it was legalized.

Quinnipiac did not question respondents on Issue 3, ResponsibleOhio’s constitutional amendment to legalize and regulate marijuana use in the state, which will be decided by voters in next month’s general election.

Among other poll results Thursday, incumbent Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Ted Strickland remain neck and neck in next year’s potential U.S. Senate race, with 46 percent of voters backing the former governor and 43 percent backing the incumbent.

Portman was well ahead of Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, 49 percent to 27 percent. The latter is challenging Strickland in the Democratic primary.

Gov. John Kasich received his highest approval marks to date, with 62 percent supporting his work in office.

Ohioans aren’t as keen on President Barack Obama, with 54 percent of voters offering a negative rating.

Marc Kovac is the Vindicator’s Columbus correspondent.

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