Poll: 39% of Utahns say Utah lawmakers came up with a better medical marijuana law than Prop. 2. 34% say the law is worse

Medical Marijuana 02

Utahns are split over whether the Legislature’s medical marijuana solution is better than the Prop. 2 voter-approved petition, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.

In fact, the only groups who believe the GOP-controlled Legislature’s version, now Utah law, is better are Republicans, conservatives and “very active” members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, finds the new survey by Dan Jones & Associates.

Prop. 2 was controversial from the start, but DJA polling last year for the daily political newsletter showed majority support for it, even after the LDS Church came out against it.

Prop. 2 passed last November, 52.75 percent to 47.25 percent.

The new poll shows:

  • 39 percent of Utahns say the Legislature’s rewrite of Prop. 2 resulted “in a better medical marijuana law.”
  • 34 percent said the Legislature’s actions gave us a “worse medical marijuana law.”
  • 15 percent said it “doesn’t make any difference” to them between the two proposals.
  • While 11 percent didn’t know.

Clearly, DJA finds, one’s outlook on medical marijuana depends on your politics and religion. Randy Shumway, UtahPolicy.com’s pollster, says he’s not surprised that there’s a split decision about the new medical marijuana law.

“The groups who showed the strongest opposition to Proposition 2 prior to the election, namely very active Latter-Day Saints and Republicans, feel the special session resulted in a better medical marijuana law,” he said. “It is the opposite with those groups who supported Prop 2.  Democrats, unaffiliated voters, and other religious groups had pluralities who believed a worse medical marijuana law resulted from the special session.”

Remember, leaders of the LDS Church opposed Prop. 2, but participated in the Legislature’s redrafting of the petition and supported the final passage of it.

The deal between some supporters and opponents of Prop. 2 was crafted behind closed doors by former House Speaker Greg Hughes, with the final “compromise” going before public hearings and some town hall debates before a special November special session passing it.

Some of the poll numbers:

Republicans support the Legislature’s compromise, 52-17 percent, with 18 percent saying it made no difference and 12 percent don’t know.

Democrats are just the opposite, 68 percent said the Legislature’s new medical marijuana law is worse than Prop. 2, only 15 percent said it is better, 10 percent said no difference, while 7 percent didn’t know.

Political independents, who don’t belong to any party, are split: 43 percent said the lawmaker’s work is worse, 32 percent said the compromise is better law than Prop. 2, 13 percent said it made no difference, while 13 percent didn’t know.

And there is an age difference in the whole medical marijuana debate, as well:

Those who are age 18-24 don’t like the compromise, 44-31 percent, while 14 percent said it made no difference and 11 percent didn’t know.

While those 65 years old and older like the Legislature’s compromise, 46-30 percent, with 16 percent saying it made no difference and 8 percent didn’t know.

DJA also found that those who said they are “very” or “somewhat” conservative like the legislative version, while “moderates” and “somewhat” and “very” liberal folks don’t like it.

0 percent of “very liberal” Utahns said the legislative alternative was better, while 85 percent said it was worse than Prop. 2.

Survey Methodology:

Poll by conducted by Dan Jones & Associates from January 3 – 15, 2019. 822 Registered voters were interviewed. Data collection was conducted by live call center agents (42 percent landline telephone, 32 percent cellphone), and a portion of the survey was conducted via email invite from an online panel (26 percent). The margin of error for the statewide questions is +/- 3.4 percent, with each congressional district having a margin of error of +/-6.9 percent. Data were weighted by age, political affiliation, religious preference, and congressional district.