The movement for marijuana legalization could be gaining steam in Delaware.
A state lawmaker has pledged to introduce a bill legalizing the adult use of cannabis, and a recent University of Delaware poll shows that 61 percent of residents surveyed support legalization, according to recent reports from the Delaware State News and The Wilmington News Journal.
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The university’s Center for Political Communication poll, which had a representative sample of 900 people, measured responses to a variety of topics such as minimum wage, capital punishment and “electoral impropriety.” As 61 percent of those surveyed favored marijuana legalization, 35 percent opposed such a move and another 4 percent were undecided, according to the survey results provided to The Cannabist.
The survey, which was conducted Sept. 16-28 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, consisted of 900 phone interviews — 450 landline and 450 cell phone — and was weighted to adjust for known demographic discrepancies. The weighted data have a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.
The research director at the Center for Political Communication addressed the legalization survey question to The News Journal:
“It’s not really surprising that there is a majority, but the margin is maybe a little wider than we thought it would be,” said Paul Brewer, research director at UD’s Center for Political Communication. “That is pretty lopsided. When we asked this question a few years ago, we found a smaller majority.”
Delaware decriminalized marijuana last year, which means those caught with small amounts of the drug are slapped with a civil fine instead of a criminal offense. The Legislature also has eased some penalties for drug possession.
Last week, the state’s Senate majority whip said that she would propose a bill by the start of the new session in January to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state, according to News Journal coverage. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington, made the announcement during a meeting for the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee:
“It’s certainly being considered. It’s going to be an uphill battle,” Henry said during the meeting, as reported by the News Journal. “But it’s time, quite frankly. It’s time to certainly look at it.”