Support Rises Among Marylanders For Legal Pot

Marijuanna buds under magnifying glass close-up.

Maryland voters heartily support the legalization of cannabis by a margin of nearly 2 to 1, a new poll from Goucher College found — and that popularity isn’t limited to one party, with a majority of both Republicans and independents supporting legalization.

The poll found that 62% of the 635 people sampled believe in establishing a recreational, adult-use cannabis market. While 65% of the Democrats and independents polled support legalization, that figure dropped slightly among Republican voters, to 54%. Notably, support for legalization among Republicans and independents increased slightly since Goucher College’s spring 2021 poll, while it dropped among Democrats. 2021 was the first year legalization polled favorably among a simple majority of Republicans.

The findings come as the Maryland Assembly debates whether to include a referendum on the November ballot that would seek to amend the state’s constitution to legalize cannabis use and possession. Lawmakers are also weighing a smattering of other bills that seek to lay out how Maryland could regulate retail sales of the drug.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has not publicly taken a position on legalizing pot, though he has indicated that, if it were to happen, he’d prefer voters to approve it through a ballot referendum rather than lawmakers acting unilaterally.

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