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Rhode Island: Majority Of Voters Back Licensing Marijuana Retail Stores


rhode island marijuana storesBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

A majority of Rhode Island voters back legalizing and regulating the use and sale of cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, according to a just-released Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

Fifty-three percent of respondents support “changing Rhode Island law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, so stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?” Forty-one percent of respondents oppose the idea. Six percent of voters were undecided.

Legislation to legalize the adult consumption and licensed production and retail sale of cannabis in the state is expected to be reintroduced shortly. (Rhode Island does not have a statewide ballot initiative process.) In previous years, state lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported the passage of legislation to legalize the use, growing, and dispensing of medical marijuana to qualified patients. The PPP survey found that 77 percent of Ocean State voters support the state’s present medical marijuana program.

The PPP poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.

In recent months, separate statewide polls in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas have all shown majority support for legalizing the adult consumption of cannabis.

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Johnny Green


  1. Okay I’ve read the Poll, and on the surface it looks like Republicans don’t support by 5% point 50% pro,45% anti ( Not what I would call Very opposed). Also only 13% of those polled were Republican. Is that the political make up of RI? I don’t know. I’ve read were Rhode Islanders lean 23-25% Republican. How many of those (R) are 65 or older? Independents pro by 4%. Democrat pro 60% Anti 32%. While Democrats overwhelmingly support How many of those are over 65? Smoking pot does not choose your party. If prohibition is going to end it can’t be a partisan issue, otherwise it will give birth to resentment and will slow down the movement.

  2. This group did a similar poll in NC. The breakdowns were as expected: Republicans very opposed, old people very opposed, medical better support than legalization. Overall, slightly pro-med and anti-legal.

    The interesting thing is that even among olds and Rs, mj was considered safer than alcohol. So that means two things – the side-to-side comparison has been effective, and (I think) that is the best selling point to legalize – “make it just like alcohol”.

    Coincidentally, the polling company is out of Raleigh.

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