Six-in-10 New Jersey residents support legalizing marijuana, according to yesterday’s Monmouth University Poll, with support running 11 points higher than it did four years ago. The change in attitude appears to be driven mostly by the numbers: 60 percent of those surveyed believe legalization will help the state’s economy. Broken out by party line the responses look like this: 68 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents, and even 50 percent of Republicans. Just 16 percent of state residents say it would hurt the economy and 20 percent say it would have no impact.
The poll also finds widespread concern over the opioid crisis — with most New Jerseyans saying the state is not doing enough to deal with this problem. Nearly 9-in-10 New Jersey adults (86 percent) say that addiction to opioids — which include pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as street drugs like heroin and fentanyl — is a very serious problem in the United States. One-in-five (20 percent) say that this issue is a bigger problem in New Jersey than in most other parts of the country; 13 percent say it is less of a problem, while the majority (59 percent) say the problem of opioid addiction is about the same in New Jersey as it is elsewhere in the country.