KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The latest FOX4/ Emerson College/The Hill poll shows a good amount of support for the recreational use of marijuana.
In the poll, which also showed support for Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Schmitt, 48% of voters support recreational marijuana being legalized. Meanwhile, 35% oppose it, and 17% are unsure.
“At this stage, it looks like it’s trending toward passing,” Executive Director of Emerson College Polling Spencer Kimball said when asked whether he thinks this amendment will pass. “We’ll obviously come back. I think both sides will spend money on this issue, and we’ll see if they’re able to convince folks to.
“There’s a lot of people on the sideline, so when we say it’s 48 to 35, that means 17% are undecided. How is that 17% going to break? Do they want to maintain the status quo, or are they interested in this experiment of legalization.”
Kimball said the undecided vote is key in determining whether or not Missourians will soon be able to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana if they’re 21 or older.
“Generally speaking, they want to maintain the status quo,” Kimball said of the undecided or unsure voters. “We’ll see if they end up breaking in one direction or another over the campaign.”
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd is a part of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. They released a statement Thursday, saying Amendment 3 to legalize recreational marijuana would be “dangerous for Missouri.”
“In Colorado, we’ve seen tremendous increases in the number of fatalities from marijuana-induced driving,” Zahnd said in an interview with FOX4 earlier this month. “We’ve seen children show up in emergency rooms in unprecedented numbers having mistakenly ingested marijuana edibles.”
Justice Gatson from Legal Missouri 2022 doesn’t think that what’s happened in Colorado will happen here.
“It’s just something to throw out there to get us off of our game,” Gatson told FOX4 Friday. “Prosecutors, they don’t want to stop this. I mean, this brings money. You can prosecute people. You can put them behind bars, and then that’s part of their job that they’re used to doing, and they don’t want to stop doing that.”
Gatson’s reaction to the poll numbers was positive.
“I think that as we get closer to the election, people will hear more and more about the benefits of this, and they’ll be ready to support it at the ballot box.”
If Amendment 3 is approved, Missourians with nonviolent marijuana offenses would have their criminal records expunged as well.
FOX4’s poll also asked if Missourians want sports betting to be legal, even though they won’t be voting on that in November. Of those surveyed, 43% said sports betting should be legal. Meanwhile, 31% said it shouldn’t be legal, and 26% were unsure.