Poll: Republicans expect, but don’t support, legal pot
Vermont Republicans are least likely to support marijuana legalization, but most likely to expect the law to pass next year, according to a recent poll.
The Castleton Polling Institute survey found 56 percent of all respondents support legalization of recreational marijuana, and an overall 59 percent expect Vermont to legalize marijuana in 2016.
When broken down by political affiliation, 65 percent of independent Vermonters, 54 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans support legalization.
Republicans believe legalization is happening anyway.
When asked to assess the odds that Vermont will legalize marijuana next year, 70 percent of Republicans said lawmakers are likely to approve the measure — compared to 62 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independent respondents.
“I think it’s probably the case that it’s somewhat of a resignation,” said Rich Clark, director of the Castleton Polling Institute.
“Republicans just talked one of the quickest sea changes in American history in same-sex marriage, and it just grew to this inevitability, and I think they see the same thing coming down the road in marijuana,” Clark continued.
The Vermont Senate and House of Representatives are both controlled by Democrats. But within the Legislature, marijuana legalization defies party lines.