Connecticut Voters Support Marijuana, New Q-Poll Finds; Voters Back Metal Detectors, Armed Guards in Schools

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From Quinnipiac University:

By a slight 52 – 45 percent majority, with a wide age gap, Connecticut voters support “allowing adults…to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use,” according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

By a huge 90 – 9 percent margin, voters support the medical use of marijuana. Support ranges from 84 – 14 percent among voters over 65 years old to 99 – 1 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old. Voters also support 69 – 28 percent having a medical marijuana dispensary in their town or city, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

On the question of so-called recreational marijuana use, voters 18 to 29 years old support the idea 80 – 20 percent, while voters over 65 years old are opposed 61 – 34 percent. Men back recreational marijuana 54 – 42 percent, with women divided 49 – 48 percent.

About half of Connecticut voters, 47 percent, admit trying marijuana. Some attitudes about marijuana include:
• 61 percent of voters say alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health, while 16 percent say marijuana is more harmful and 18 percent say both are harmful;
• If marijuana were more widely available, 55 percent of voters say alcohol would be more harmful to society, while 28 percent say marijuana would be more harmful;
• Legalizing marijuana would lead to more underage use, voters say 59 – 37 percent.

• “A slight majority of Connecticut voters favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with huge age and party gaps. While 90 percent support the current law allowing medical marijuana, support drops to 69 percent who would want a medical marijuana dispensary in their town,” said Douglas Schwartz, PhD, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

With wide partisan and gender gaps, Connecticut voters support 56 – 38 percent the state’s stricter new gun control laws. Support is 81 – 14 percent among Democrats and 54 – 40 percent among independent voters, with Republicans opposed 69 – 25 percent. Men oppose stricter gun laws 51 – 45 percent, while women back these laws 66 – 27 percent.

By an 82 – 15 percent margin, voters support using metal detectors at school entrances. There is strong support from every group listed. By a smaller 49 – 44 percent margin, voters support armed guards in schools. Support is almost identical among men and women, but there is a large partisan gap: Republicans support armed guards 59 – 36 percent, while Democrats are opposed 51 – 43 percent. Independent voters support the idea 51 – 43 percent.

Death Penalty
Connecticut voters support the death penalty 58 – 36 percent. They are divided in their opinion of the 2012 bill that replaces the death penalty with life in prison without the chance of parole, with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving. Men disapprove 57 – 40 percent while women approve 53 – 41 percent.

“Despite the botched execution in Oklahoma, we haven’t seen any change in support for the death penalty in Connecticut: 58 percent still support the death penalty, but are divided when given a choice between the death penalty and life without parole,” Dr. Schwartz said.

By a strong 72 – 26 percent margin, voters support increasing the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017. Support is 94 – 6 percent among Democrats and 70 – 28 percent among independent voters. Republicans are divided with 47 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed.

“Connecticut was the first state in the nation to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and nearly three quarters of voters back this increase,” Dr. Schwartz said.

From May 1 – 6, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,668 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

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