Poll: Majority of Pennsylvania voters back recreational marijuana


A majority of Pennsylvania voters supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use, according to a new poll.

The Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday found 59 percent of registered voters believe marijuana should be legal.

When the question was first asked by F&M pollsters in May 2006, legal pot had the support of only about 22 percent of voters, the college’s Center for Opinion Research said in its summary of findings.

Independents (77%) and Democrats (71%) were more likely to support marijuana legalization than Republicans (39%), and support tends to decline with age.

According to the poll, 80 percent of voters under age 35 believe Pennsylvanians should be allowed to buy and use marijuana, while support for legal pot fell to 67 percent among people ages 35 to 54 and to 41 percent among voters over 55.

The poll findings are based on interviews with 540 Pennsylvania registered voters conducted March 18-24. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 5.5 percent.

Survey participants were asked about other issues including the minimum wage, nuclear power, and climate change.

Minimum Wage

Nearly seven in 10 registered voters strongly (47%) or somewhat (22%) favors an increase in the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 per hour, according to the poll.

Climate Change

Most registered voters believe climate change is currently causing problems (67%) and most (68%) think the state should do more to address those problems, the poll found.

Nuclear Power

Fifty percent of voters favor a proposal to add nuclear power to the list of renewable resources from which electricity companies must buy power, F&M’s Center for Opinion Research found.

Voter Sentiment 

Voters are generally satisfied with the direction Pennsylvania is going and their personal finances. Half (49%) believe the state is “headed in the right direction,” and most reported they are “better off” (32%) or the “same” (52%) financially compared to last year.

President Trump

About one in three (34%) registered voters believes President Trump is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as president. One in three (36%) believes President Trump has done a good enough job to deserve re-election, while three in five (61%) voters say it is time for a change. 

Online: Franklin and Marshall College March 2019 Poll

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