Medical Cannabis in Ohio as Popular as Ever

dispatch.jpgRecent polls bode well for the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment
(Columbus, OH): With 63% in favor, the results of a public opinion poll conducted by Saperstein & Associates and published on Sunday, March 31, 2013 by the Columbus Dispatch1 indicate that medical marijuana has a winning margin among Ohio adults. These numbers are consistent with five other Ohio surveys conducted since 1998, all of which showed positive support of the issue, ranging from a high of 73% in the 2009 “Ohio Poll” by the University of Cincinnati,2 to a much lower, but still encouraging 60% who support an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would allow the use of medical marijuana to alleviate suffering. This latter poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling in April 2012.

“These results bode well for the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment,” said Ohio Rights Group President, John Pardee, “Amendments to the Ohio Constitution only require 50.1% of the vote, and these numbers clearly show that medical marijuana can win in Ohio with a sizable and comfortable margin.”

The demographics in the five polls reveal a fair amount of consistency. By significant majorities, male and female respondents answered favorably with equal numbers in each of the polls. At a record high of 76% in the Dispatch survey, black supporters greatly outnumbered white supporters (61%). Support by Democrats (72%) was significantly higher than that by Republicans (46%). Pardee noted that Republican support is often grounded in the conservative Libertarian wing of the party, which is very active in marijuana reform. Young people 18 to 34 years old back medical marijuana in far greater numbers than any other generational cohort, with about three quarters of them in both the Dispatch and University of Cincinnati polls voicing approval. Conversely, their grandparents, those over age 50, claim the lowest levels of support.

Any speculation that Ohio was ready to fully legalize marijuana was dispelled by the Dispatch poll. Only 37% of respondents backed full legalization, which was the very same level found in 2009 University of Cincinnati poll. A similar question in a December 2012 Quinnipiac University3 study had 47% in favor, but this percentage still falls short of a margin that would win at the ballot box.

The Ohio Rights Group advocates for the rights of Ohioans to make medical, therapeutic and industrial use of the Cannabis plant and supports the growing number of individuals, organizations and industries facilitating that use. The organization is fielding the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment,4 based on Article 1: Bill of Rights in the Ohio Constitution, which reads, all Ohioans are, “by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.”5

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1 Columbus Dispatch Poll, March 2013. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/03/31/heartbeat-bill-...
2 The Ohio Poll, University of Cincinnati, May 2009. http://www.ipr.uc.edu/documents/op103112.pdf
3 Quinnipiac University Poll, December 2012. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-centers/polling-institute/ohio/rele...
4 Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment. https://ohiorights.org/sites/default/files/documents/Ohio-Cannabis-Right...
5 Ohio Constitution, Inalienable Rights, page 5. http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/publications/election/constitution...
Three of the Ohio polls evaluated are not publically available. These include a 2012 poll by Public Policy Polling, a 2006 poll by Goodwin
Simon Victoria Research and a 1998 poll by Ernie, Busher and Associates.