- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2015

Majorities of voters in the three key presidential states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania support the legalization of marijuana, and more than eight in 10 voters in each of the states also support the legalization of medical marijuana.

Fifty-five percent of Florida voters support allowing adults “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use,” according to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday. Fifty-two percent of Ohio voters said the same, as did 51 percent of Pennsylvania voters.

Support for medical marijuana was 84 percent in Florida and Ohio and 88 percent in Pennsylvania. Twenty-three states and the District have legalized medical marijuana, and recreational use of the drug is allowed in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and D.C..

Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority, said the results show that marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue politicians should try to latch onto instead of run away from.

“If the next president isn’t willing to personally support ending prohibition as the best policy approach, he or she at least needs to push for changing federal laws so that seriously ill people can use medical marijuana without fear of being harassed by the DEA,” Mr. Angell said. “Medical marijuana polls way better with voters than any presidential candidate does.”

Potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders have generally blasted President Obama’s enforcement of marijuana laws, but have had to deal with the conundrum of whether they would support enforcing federal policy or effectively let stand state-approved laws.

Though voters appear generally receptive to the legalization of the drug, fewer than 18 percent of voters in each of the three states say they “definitely” or “probably” would use it.

From March 17-28, Quinnipiac surveyed:

• 1,087 Florida voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent;

• 1,077 Ohio voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent; and

• 1,036 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

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