West Long Branch, NJ – The Monmouth University Poll finds that 6-in-10 New Jersey residents support legalizing marijuana use, with support now 11 points higher than it was four years ago. Most say that such a policy will help the state’s economy and few think it will lead to an increase in drug crime. But the poll also finds widespread concern over another drug issue – the opioid crisis – with most New Jerseyans saying the state is not doing enough to deal with this problem.
Most New Jersey adults (59%) currently support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, while 37% are opposed. Statewide support has increased since Monmouth last asked this question four years ago. Support stood at 48% in April 2014 while opposition was at 47%. Support has increased most dramatically among Democrats, going from 49% in 2014 to 65% currently. Independents’ support increased from 51% to 60% and Republican support increased from 37% to 45% over the same time period.
Helping to drive this opinion is the fact that 60% of New Jerseyans believe that legalizing marijuana would help the state’s economy – including 68% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and even 50% of Republicans. Just 16% of state residents say it would hurt the New Jersey economy and 20% say it would have no impact.
“The strongest argument for marijuana legalization may be the bandwagon effect. With many other states doing it, most New Jerseyans seem to view such a move as a potential economic boon with a limited downside,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Just one-third of state residents (32%) feel that legalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in other drug crimes while 26% say it will actually lead to a decrease in those offenses. Another 39% say marijuana legalization would have no impact on the rate of other drug crimes.
“Even though increasing drug crime is not a major concern in the marijuana legalization debate, the public sees other serious issues with drug use, especially opioids,” said Murray.
Nearly 9-in-10 New Jersey adults (86%) say that addiction to opioids – which include pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin as well as street drugs like heroin and fentanyl – is a very serious problem in the United States. Another 9% say it is somewhat serious and very few say it is either not too (2%) or not at all (1%) serious. One-in-five (20%) say that this issue is a bigger problem in New Jersey than it is in most other parts of the country and 13% say it is less of a problem here, while the majority (59%) say the opioid addiction problem is about the same in New Jersey as it is elsewhere in the country.
Most New Jerseyans (59%) say the state is not doing enough to deal with the opioid problem here. Just 26% say it is doing enough. By party, 64% of Democrats and 62% of independents compared with 47% of Republicans say the state is not doing enough.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from April 6 to 10, 2018 with 703 New Jersey adults. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent for the full sample. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
QUESTIONS AND RESULTS
(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)
[Q1, Q7, Q12 held for future release.] [Q2-6, Q8-11, Q13-25 previously released.]
26. Overall, do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
|(VOL) Don’t know||5%||6%|
27. Do you think legalizing marijuana in New Jersey would help the state’s economy, hurt the state’s economy, or have no impact on the state’s economy?
|(VOL) Don’t know||4%|
28. Do you think legalizing marijuana in New Jersey would lead to an increase in other drug crimes, lead to a decrease in other drug crimes, or have no impact on the number of other drug crimes?
|(VOL) Don’t know||3%|
29. Now, I’d like to ask you some questions about opioids, which include pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin as well as street drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Is opioid addiction a very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious problem in the United States?
|Not too serious||2%|
|Not at all serious||1%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||2%|
30. Do you think opioid addiction is a bigger problem in New Jersey than it is in most other parts of the country, is a bigger problem in most other parts of the country than it is in New Jersey, or is about the same in New Jersey as in most other parts of the country?
|Bigger problem in New Jersey||20%|
|Bigger problem in other parts of the country||13%|
|About the same||59%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||7%|
31. Is New Jersey doing enough or not doing enough to deal with the opioid problem here?
|Not doing enough||59%|
|(VOL) Doing too much||1%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||14%|
[Q32-35 held for future release.] [Q36-39 previously released.]
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from April 6 to 10, 2018 with a random sample of 703 New Jersey adults age 18 and older, in English. This includes 421 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 282 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.