Nearly Two-Thirds of D.C. Likely Voters Support Legalization of Marijuana: Poll

Nearly two-thirds of D.C. likely voters support legalization of marijuana in the city, according to an NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll. The poll also shows that the majority of likely voters are undecided on their choice for D.C.'s attorney general.

  • Legalization of Marijuana

The poll found that 65 percent of those likely to vote in this fall's election are leaning toward voting yes on a ballot initiative to legalize pot. Another two percent are undecided.

A third of likely voters said they will vote against Initiative 71, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.

More than three-quarters of of likely voters who say they're liberal to very liberal are in favor of the bill. More than half who say they are conservative to very conservative, 53 percent, also favor it.

While marijuana was decriminalized in the District this summer, meaning that those caught for the first time with a small amount get a citation rather than potential jail time, the drug remains illegal. The D.C. Cannabis Campaign collected tens of thousands of signatures to get the marijuana legalization bill on this fall's ballot.

  • D.C.'s Attorney General Race

In D.C.'s first election for the attorney general, none of the candidates have emerged as a clear favorite, the poll shows. Nearly six in 10 likely voters, 57 percent, are still undecided.


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Among the candidates, Paul Zukerberg is leading with 14 percent of the vote. Lateefah Williams and Lorie Masters have seven percent. Karl Racine and Edward "Smitty" Smith have the support of five percent of likely voters.


This survey of 1,249 adults was conducted Sept. 14-16 by The Marist Poll sponsored in partnership with NBC4 and The Washington Post. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the District of Columbia were interviewed by telephone using live interviewers.

Landline telephone numbers were randomly selected based upon a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the District from ASDE Survey Sampler, Inc. To increase coverage, this landline sample was supplemented by respondents reached through random dialing of cell phone numbers from Survey Sampling International. The two samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2010 Census results for age, gender income, and race.

Respondents in the household were selected by asking for the youngest male. Results are statistically significant within ±2.8 percentage points. There are 1,070 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±3.0 percentage points. There are 572 likely voters defined by a probability turnout model. This model determines the likelihood respondents will vote in the November 2014 election based upon their chance of vote, interest in the election, and past election participation. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±4.1 percentage points. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations.

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