A new Elway Poll (PDF) (via Publicola) found that 54 percent of Washington State voters support an initiative to legalize marijuana in the state while only 43 percent of voters in the state lean toward opposing such an initiative.

The poll did, however, find that the support side contained significantly more leaners than the opposition. Only 30 percent would definitely support legalization, with another 24 percent simply inclined to support it. 32 percent, on the other hand, would definitely oppose the measure, with just 11 percent leaning toward no.

There is clearly potential for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative to win the approval of voters in Washington, but with over a third of the electorate not fully committed one way or the other, the success or failure of such a measure would depend heavily on the quality of the campaigns run on by both sides of the issue.

Not surprisingly, the poll found the same generational divide on the issue that we have seen in basically every poll about marijuana reform. Voters under 35 years of age overwhelmingly support legalization (by 63 percent) while only 38 percent of senior citizens are inclined to support such a reform. This means any marijuana initiative on the ballot would have its best chance of passing in a presidential election year, when youth turnout is highest.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com

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