NJ voters want low-level marijuana crimes cleared, poll finds
If voters in November approve the use and sale of recreational marijuana in the Garden State, those with related offenses on their records shouldn't still have to suffer.
That's the mindset of most voters in New Jersey, according to the latest poll conducted by the Cannabis Law Practice of Brach Eichler in Roseland.
In the poll of 500 registered New Jersey voters who said they're likely to vote, 68% of respondents said they favor pardons for those with past low-level marijuana crimes. For the first time in the practice's series of polls, voters expressed support (51%) for expunging records of all levels of marijuana-related crimes.
Democrats in the poll were much more likely to to support clean records for all levels of offenses. Support was recorded across party lines for pardons of low-level marijuana crimes.
The poll, the last in a series of four, also found support by a two-to-one margin (65%) for the Nov. 3 ballot question on the legalization of recreational cannabis in New Jersey.
"The Brach Eichler Cannabis Poll, which has consistently reported overwhelming support for legalizing cannabis, today again confirms that New Jersey voters support this long overdue change by a significant margin," said Charles Gormally, co-chair of the practice.
"You never know what the polling will really mean until the day of the election, but we are optimistic that this referendum, which is a long time coming in the state of New Jersey, will, in fact, pass," added co-chair John Fanburg.
Overwhelming support for legalization was also recorded in a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Among the poll respondents who've seen or heard advertisements related to the issue, 36% said the ads made them view legalized weed more favorably. Ten percent said ads turned them against legalization.
"There's been much more media attention given to this initiative since Labor Day, an that's created more discussion and more awareness," Fanburg said.
The practice's latest poll also revealed growing support for "home rule" as it relates to marijuana sales, with 47% saying municipalities should have the right to decide if cannabis businesses would be allowed in their towns. Dozens of towns have passed ordinances blocking some form of marijuana growth and sales.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.