Eleven states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and a plurality of adults in those states don’t regret it, a new poll finds. That doesn’t mean adults in these states consider legalization an unmitigated success. Instead they would characterize recreational marijuana legalization as more of a success than a failure.
YouGov polled more than 32,000 Americans, asking if adult-use legalization in their state “has been a success or a failure.” In every state except Maine, a majority of respondents characterized legalization as a success. At least two-thirds of adults called legal adult-use marijuana a success in five states — Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Massachusetts.
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“This polling data reaffirms that most voters do not experience ‘buyer’s remorse’ following marijuana legalization,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said in a statement. “In the minds of most Americans, adult-use marijuana regulations are operating as voters intended and in a manner that is consistent with their expectations.”
These beliefs appear strongest in states with the longest ties to legal recreational marijuana, YouGov noted. In the poll, respondents could choose between five different answers: “Success only,” “more of a success than a failure,” “more of a failure than a success,” “failure only” or “don’t know.”
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Approximately one-fourth of residents in Colorado, where voters approved recreational marijuana in 2012, called adult-use marijuana laws a “success only” while 45% of them labeled the laws “more of a success than a failure.” A little less than one in five Colorado residents (17%) said recreational marijuana laws were a “failure only.”
Maine isn’t as high on the state’s legal recreational marijuana laws, though they have good reason. Less than half of respondents (47%) said legal marijuana has been more of a success. A third of residents said they were uncertain about the laws while one five said they were more of a failure. Though Maine residents voted to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2016, lawmakers and regulators still have not fully implemented marijuana laws.