Texas Lyceum Poll 2015
September 30, 2015
Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization
As more states either decriminalize or legalize marijuana within their borders, the Texas Lyceum asked a two-part question to gauge people’s attitudes toward such a move for Texas. First, Texans were asked whether they would “support or oppose legalizing the use of marijuana in the state of Texas?” Overall, 46% of Texas adults said that they would support legalizing marijuana use while 50% said that they would oppose legalization. Among those who said that they would oppose legalization, we provided the following question: You said that you opposed legalizing the use of marijuana in Texas, would you support or oppose reducing the maximum punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a citation and a fine?
Among those who originally opposed legalizing marijuana, 57% said that they would support decriminalizing the drug while 39% said they would also oppose decriminalization. This means that among Texas adults, only 19.5% expressed opposition to both the legalization and/or the decriminalization of marijuana.
A majority of Democrats support legalization (54% support; 42% oppose) while a majority of Republicans oppose legalization (37% support; 61% oppose). Fifty percent of whites support legalization while 51% of blacks and 56% of Hispanics stand in opposition. Eighteen to 29 year olds are the only age group in which a majority supports legalization (66%). Interestingly, when it comes to
Democrats and Republicans in opposition to legalization, both groups favor decriminalization (60% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans). Majorities of whites (59%), blacks (52%), and Hispanics (56%) initially opposed to legalization are supportive of decriminalization, as are all age groups.