Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

December 10, 2013

Poll: Growing support for legalizing pot

Opposition to marriage amendment on rise

(Continued)

Also changing are opinions on marijuana and same-sex marriage. In 2012, after some conservative legislators floated the idea of decriminalizing marijuana -- treating it like a traffic offense -- 53 percent of people surveyed said they supported the idea, a number roughly unchanged this year. But three-quarters of those surveyed said they want to see marijuana taxed – even though prospects of pot legislation in the next session seem dim.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence has made clear his position: Last year, he warned legislators he would oppose efforts to significantly reduce penalties for marijuana crimes, calling it a “gateway” to more dangerous drugs.

The General Assembly will be taking on the issue of same-sex marriage ban amendment, though. On Thursday, Pence voiced support for the proposed amendment that, if passed by the Legislature, will send the issue to voters in November.

While the minority Democrat leaders in the Statehouse called again on Thursday for the amendment to be scuttled, the majority Republican leaders re-affirmed their commitment to putting the measure to a vote.

Losco noted that residents seem to make a distinction between the state law that prohibits same-sex marriage and enshrining the ban in the state constitution. “They see the latter as a pretty blunt instrument.”

As recent similar polls in Indiana have showed, the Hoosier Survey found significant differences on the issue in based on age and politics. Among residents ages 18 to 24, 72 percent supported legalizing same-sex marriage.

Almost 80 percent of Democrats supported it, while fewer than 30 percent of Republicans did.

Results of the Hoosier Survey were released at the annual Bingham Greenebaum Doll legislative preview conference in Indianapolis. The 2013 survey was conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International in mid-October. PSRAI sampled the opinions of 605 adults living in Indiana.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

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