Poll: Northwest Voters Have Few Regrets After Legalizing Pot

By Ryan Haas (OPB)
April 22, 2015 9:13 p.m.

Six months after Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana, they say they're still happy with their choice.

A new poll from OPB shows that if the election were held again today, 53 percent of voters would still support pot legalization, while 45 percent would oppose it.

The numbers show voters haven't experienced buyer's remorse since the Oregon Liquor Control Commission began drafting its plans for implementing recreational pot in the state. Last November, voters passed the marijuana legalization measure — Measure 91 — with 56 percent of the electorate supporting it and 44 percent opposed.

The poll shows a similar consistency among Washington voters, although their support has waned slightly.

Voters in the Evergreen State legalized pot in 2012, with 56 percent support. According to the voters contacted by Portland-based DHM Research in mid-April, they'd still approve the law today — but only with 51 percent of voters backing it.  

Washington voters are mostly upbeat about how their state has implemented recreational marijuana legalization, with nearly half of the survey takers saying government has done a "good" or "very good" job at it.

The state struggled in the early months of its marijuana market to keep inventory on the shelves and prices low. Since then, the supply and demand have leveled off and more stores have opened across Washington.

Oregon isn't likely to start handing out business licenses to pot store owners until sometime next year, but some lawmakers have floated the idea of letting medical dispensaries sell recreational pot on July 1, when the drug becomes legal in the state.

However, voters in the state overwhelmingly say they don't want that arrangement to be permanent. A whopping 65 percent of poll respondents say they want to see Oregon's recreational and medical marijuana programs kept separate.

DHM contacted 800 registered voters in the Northwest for the poll. It had margin of error of 4.9 percent.