Majority Of Virginians Support Decriminalizing Marijuana

Photo Credit: PEDRO PARDO

A new survey by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University suggests that the majority of Virginia voters support the decriminalization of marijuana.

The poll shows 76 percent of Virginians are for decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, making it punishable by fines rather than jail.

Those who support the reform crossed all demographic and partisan categories, dropping to its lowest level — 60 percent — among self-identified Republicans, according to the study.

The study also found that voters back a compromise on Medicaid expansion, an issue that has vexed the General Assembly for five years.

“While a majority of voters support a full expansion of Medicaid, Republican voters oppose it, and Republicans are still in charge in the General Assembly,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center. “However, a partial expansion has the support of Republican voters, which may open a path to compromise this session.”

The Wason Center conducted 870 interviews of registered Virginia voters, including 372 on landline and 498 on cell phone, Jan. 14-Feb. 4. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.6 percent.