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Poll: Vermont voters split on marijuana legalization - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Poll: Vermont voters split on marijuana legalization

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Vermonters largely support marijuana legalization, but voters are more evenly divided. Statehouse reporter Kyle Midura breaks down the data from our WCAX poll.

While the governor and his challengers are taking a wait and see approach with a pending study on the effect of legalization, only 8 percent of respondents said they're not sure where they stand on the issue.

Of those surveyed, 49 percent say they support legalizing marijuana, while 43 percent oppose the concept. That's according to our WCAX poll of 653 registered voters.

"It was closer than I thought it was going to be," said Rich Clark of the Castleton Polling Institute.

Clark says previous polls have found strong support for legalization in Vermont.

"In a general population survey we found almost two-thirds in support, so it loses support among voters," said Clark.

He notes that young people are weed's biggest advocates, but are weeded out of this poll because are less likely to be registered to vote, which is a requirement for this poll.

In this survey, 59 percent of 18 to 44-year-olds told pollsters that recreational marijuana should be legal, while 54 percent of those over 65 disagreed.

"I think it's an OK idea, I'm not against it, I'm not going to run out and make it happen," said Sarah Cu of Essex Junction.

"I probably would never put marijuana on the top of the list for priorities, but it's definitely up there," said Sandi Omanovic.

On Burlington's Church Street, most voiced support. One woman told us off-camera that she would move out of state if the state legalized it.

At the annual Vermont League of Cities and Towns "Town Fair," municipal officials expected to take a formal stance against legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

"There's just an overwhelming sense that we're not ready to do this," said Mayor Chris Louras, Rutland City.

Louras says a pending study may reveal potential benefits to the state of legal weed, but he says they'll be outweighed citing a hefty federal report out of Colorado detailing problems with diversion, road safety, and a still present black market.

The poll does come with a 4 percent margin of error. A study from the Rand Corporation on legalization in Vermont is expected to be delivered early next year.

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