More than half of N.J. residents support marijuana legalization, poll finds

New Jerseyans are more in favor than opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

The poll found that more than half (58 percent) of Garden State residents are for complete legalization, compared to 37 percent against.

“As marijuana legalization approaches reality in the state, New Jerseyans are fully on board,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Support has built up slowly in the past five decades, with this being the first time a majority has ever sided with legalization. New Jerseyans are now almost three times as likely to support it as they were in 1971.”

New Jersey’s are also on the side of social justice, with 79 percent saying people penalized for possessing a small amount of marijuana should be able to clear their records.

The poll also found:

  • Half of all adults have tried marijuana; one-quarter say they would consider using it if it were legal;
  • The vast majority of residents believe the sale, regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana would help the state’s economy; and 64 percent say they wouldn’t be bothered by a store selling it in their town;
  • More people think marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, 45 percent to 12 percent.

Results were from a statewide poll of 1,006 residents contacted by telephone from Oct. 12-19. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points.