Pennsylvania voters have done a sharp about-face on marijuana, with a majority, 56 percent, now saying the drug should be legal, according to the latest Franklin and Marshall Poll, being released Thursday.
Just under two years ago, 54 percent of F&M poll respondents were opposed to legalizing pot, with 40 percent in favor. And when the college first asked about the issue in a 2006 poll, just 22 percent thought recreational pot use should be permitted.
“It’s a fast attitudinal change,” said pollster G. Terry Madonna. “There is a growing cultural acceptance of marijuana use. Maybe it’s inevitable.”
Eight states and the District of Columbia have eliminated penalties for personal use and possession of small amounts of pot, while 19 states have decriminalized the drug by reducing punishments. A vigorous debate over fairness in the criminal justice system has also shifted attitudes toward marijuana, Madonna said. In addition, 29 states, including Pennsylvania, have legalized cannabis for medical use. [Read more at the Philadelphia Inquirer]