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February 24th, 2014 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: News, LGBT, Drugs, Marijuana

Poll: Ohio Moving Left on Social Issues

Ohioans overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, plurality backs same-sex marriage

news1_weedunicornIllustration: Julie Hill

Ohioans are moving left on marijuana and same-sex marriage, according to a poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University.

The poll found an overwhelming majority — 87 percent — of Ohioans support legalizing marijuana for medical uses. About 51 percent support allowing adults to legally possess a small amount of the drug. And 83 percent agree marijuana is equally or less dangerous than alcohol.

At the same time, 50 percent of Ohio voters now support same-sex marriage, compared to 44 percent who do not.

A plurality of voters — 34 percent versus 26 percent — also disapproved of Gov. John Kasich’s handling of abortion. (In the latest state budget, Kasich and his fellow Republicans in the Ohio legislature imposed new restrictions on abortions and abortion providers.)

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 registered Ohio voters from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17 for the poll, producing a 2.7 percent margin of error.

The findings indicate the state is moving left on the biggest social issues of the day.

In 2004, Ohioans approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Last year, a Saperstein Associates poll conducted for The Columbus Dispatch found 63 percent of Ohioans favor legalizing medical marijuana, but 59 percent said they oppose full-on legalization. (Given the different methodologies, it’s unclear how Saperstein Associates’ results compare to Quinnipiac University’s poll.)

Whether the liberal shift applies to ballot initiatives remains to be seen. This year, two groups aim to get medical marijuana and same-sex marriage on the Ohio ballot.

Contrary to what polling numbers might imply, it currently seems more likely same-sex marriage will end up on the ballot this year. FreedomOhio, which is leading the effort, says it already has the petition signatures required to get the issue on the ballot in November, even though other LGBT groups, including Equality Ohio, say the effort should wait until 2016.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Rights Group admits it doesn’t yet have the signatures required to get medical marijuana on the ballot. The organization has until July to gather 385,247 petition signatures, which in large part must come from at least half of Ohio’s 88 counties. In the very unlikely scenario the Ohio Rights Group gets all the petitions in circulation back with 36 legitimate signatures filled out on each, the organization would have about 246,000 signatures.

Still, with support seemingly growing, it seems unlikely medical marijuana and same-sex marriage will remain illegal in Ohio for much longer.

 
 
02.26.2014 at 08:25 Reply

While I understand that, historically, social issues such as gay marriage, legalizing marijuana, and abortion were once categorized as causes championed either by the "left" (liberal) or the "right" (conservative) -- I don't think such simplistic thinking applies anymore.

The Tea Party movement, of which I consider myself a member, is fairly neutral on the marijuana issue. And you might be surprised to know that many of us Patriots are likewise neutral on gay marriage (despite what MSNBC tries to tell you). Yet, I don't think anyone would consider the Tea Party a leftist movement, LOL! 

Similarly, you might be surprised to know that many individuals who otherwise consider themselves "Liberal" are in fact anti-abortion. This is another issue (abortion) that doesn't fit so neatly anymore into left-vs-right. 

True, our country's liberal party (Dems) are more likely to platform for abortion, and the conservative party (GOP) platforms against abortion, but again take away the talking heads at the top and what remains are voting blocs (pro-marijuana vs anti-marijuana, pro gay marriage vs anti-gay marriage etc) that don't fit so neatly into party lines anymore.

I certainly don't.   

 

 
 
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