Wisconsin voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll. In fact, just knowing that they’ll be asked to weigh in on cannabis at the ballot box increases the likelihood that most voters will turn out in November.
For the poll, which was conducted by Myers Research, professional interviewers spoke with 500 registered voters earlier this month. The survey “confirmed results of previous polling on cannabis legalization,” revealing that 64 percent of respondents support adult-use legalization, while 29 percent oppose the policy.
But the survey went a step further, asking respondents if they’d be more or less likely to vote in the upcoming election if they knew their ballot included an advisory question about cannabis policy reform—as will be the case next month in counties and cities representing nearly half of the state’s residents.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote if their ballot had a marijuana question, compared to just 19 percent who said they’d be less inclined to turn out. The self-identified turnout boost was particularly sizable for Democrats.
Sixteen Wisconsin counties and two cities have marijuana advisory measures on their November ballots. You can read the text of each question here.
While there’s nothing legally binding about these ballot measures, the results could inspire future reform legislation—as seemed to be the case when Massachusetts went through a similar advisory question process in election cycles leading up to the passage of a statewide legalization initiative in 2016.
The new Wisconsin poll also reinforced the idea that support for cannabis reform is widespread across divergent demographics. Every demographic included in the survey—with the exception of respondents who identified as Republicans—showed majority support for legalization.
“Democrats, independents, men, women, old, young, professionals and blue-collar workers all favor legalization,” Andrew Myers of Myers Research said in a press release. “It is therefore not surprising that every major area of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Dane, Brown, and the western area—show majority support for the legalization of cannabis according to the poll.”
Photo courtesy of Nicholas C. Morton.