Utah: Poll of Likely Voters Shows 73% Support for a Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative
By Michael Bachara
A February poll of 402 Utahns found that 73% of voters support a medical cannabis ballot initiative, with only 20% opposed and 7% undecided.
“The poll results show overwhelming and broad support for medical cannabis in Utah,” said DJ Schanz, director of Utah Patients Coalition, a political campaign committee formed to support a 2018 ballot initiative to establish a medical cannabis program in Utah. “Voters believe that patients should be able to safely and legally access the medicine they need.”
Voters from virtually all demographic groups expressed support, including 64% of Republican voters, 63% of active LDS voters, and 75% of voters age 50 and above. Nearly 80% of all voters support medical cannabis in principle. The poll found 72% support for allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain.
Between 1999 and 2010, states with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower rate of opioid overdose deaths than states without medical cannabis laws, a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found.
“The opioid epidemic has already taken too many lives in our state,” said campaign spokesperson Christine Stenquist. “We should allow medical cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain for two urgent reasons. First, medical cannabis is a more effective treatment for many patients. And second, it can potentially play a significant role in reducing the rate of opioid overdose deaths in Utah.”
The poll was conducted with live callers on both landline and wireless phones and was commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national marijuana reform organization that is supporting the 2018 Utah campaign. Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, an opinion research firm, conducted the poll.