This State Will Legalize Marijuana Today — If Young People Show Up to Vote

This State Will Legalize Marijuana Today — If Young People Show Up to Vote

Two opposing polls out of Oregon are making one thing very clear: If young people get out and vote on Election Day, the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state will pass.

The more recent survey, conducted by the Oregonian and KGW, found that 46% of respondents opposed Measure 91 — which would allow adults to grow, hold and, for licensed individuals, sell weed — giving them a small lead over supporters, who clocked in at 44%. 

Support is strongest among younger voters — 56% of voters aged 18 to 34 express support for legalization, compared with 39% of those aged 65 and over. The result will depend on whether those younger voters actually show up to the polls.

Generational divide: The overall measure of support seems like a big move from two weeks ago, when Oregon Public Broadcasting and Fox 12 released poll results showing likely voters in favor of legalization by an 11-point margin, with 52% backing the measure.

But don't confuse the gap with a shift in the electorate. As the Oregonian explains, the new survey "has a sample showing that 70% of the electorate will be aged 51 or older." By contrast, the poll showing 52% in favor supposes that just 58% of voters will be "45 or older."

Simply stated, the more weight given to young voters' preferences, the more likely Measure 91 is to succeed.

"Support goes down as age goes up," said Stuart Elway, the pollster who found just 44% in favor of legalization.

DHM Research pollster John Horvick, who set the model for the first survey, agrees, pointing to the initiative's overwhelming support with younger voters.

"For example, 18- to 34-year-olds, 70% plan to vote for Measure 91 for legalization," he told Oregon Public Broadcasting. "Sixty-eight percent of independents plan to. Now those are all groups who are the least likely to show up come Election Day. So if the marijuana campaign is able to get those voters out, it looks like it could pass, it'll be close, a squeaker."

Two polls, one very similar story. If Oregon is going to legalize marijuana, it will need dedicated young voters to turn out and bring their friends with them.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Gregory Krieg

Greg Krieg is a senior staff writer at Mic, covering politics. He is based in New York and can be reached at greg@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.