Support for legalizing marijuana continues to grow at a remarkable rate in New Hampshire. According to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, 59 percent of adults in the state support legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use while only 35 percent oppose legalization.
That represents an impressive eight point increase in support for legalization since a year ago and an 11 point improvement since February 2013.
Interestingly the poll asked about marijuana policy in two ways. First it asked the yes or no question of whether people would support legalization, then it asked people what their preferred marijuana policy was among a range of options.
It found 52 percent would most want to see marijuana legalized, regulated, and taxed like alcohol. Another 19 percent would prefer to see marijuana decriminalized in the state while only 27 percent support New Hampshire’s current criminal penalties against marijuana use.
New Hampshire could play a big role in raising the profile of marijuana reform during the 2016 Presidential election as the most marijuana friendly of the early primary states. It will also likely be surrounded by states pushing reform at the time. The Vermont legislature is set to start seriously considering marijuana legalization next year, and legalization ballot measure campaigns are likely in Maine and Massachusetts during the next election cycle.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy