New Jerseyans have become increasingly supportive of legalizing marijuana, though they’re more divided on whether they’d support its sale in their communities.

Results made public Wednesday from the latest Quinnipiac University Poll show that 62 percent of registered voters support allowing adults in New Jersey to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, with 33 percent opposed.

A similar amount favors erasing criminal records for marijuana possession, 63 percent. Support drops to nearly break-even about the prospects of local, legal marijuana sales – with 50 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.

“We’ve seen a number of towns come out saying they don’t want the sale of marijuana, should it be legalized, so about 50 percent of New Jerseyans are saying we’ll support it, which is slightly lower than the number of people who are saying they support legalization,” said Quinnipiac University poll analyst Mary Snow.

Bridgewater may become the most recent municipality to ban marijuana sales. The Township Countil will consider an ordinance next month that would prohibit recreational marijuana sales while allowing medical dispensaries.

The Legislature could consider a bill next month legalizing the sale of marijuana for adult use.

There is a partisan divide over whether to legalize marijuana, with 78 percent of Democrats in favor, compared with 41 percent of Republicans.

In a 2014 poll by Quinnipiac, 55 percent of Democrats were in favor and 34 percent of Republicans. At that time, overall public opinion was evenly divided on the issue, with 48 percent for it and 48 percent against.

Live interviewers from Quinnipiac polled 908 New Jersey registered voters by phone between Aug. 15 and 20. A sample of that size yields a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.

New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at

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