Arizona Poll: Marijuana Legalization Up 40 Points

HighGround Poll:  65% of Arizona voters plan to vote yes on the Smart and Safe Arizona Act

PHOENIX (June 1, 2020) – If there is one thing Arizonans can agree on in this deeply partisan election cycle, it’s marijuana. When asked whether they would vote Yes or No on the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, 65% of Arizonans said they are likely to vote Yes in November.

Q. Next year, voters in Arizona may be asked to vote on the Smart and Safe Arizona Act. This
proposal would legalize the sale, possession and consumption of one ounce of marijuana (of
which 5 grams can be concentrate) for adults at least 21 years old. Marijuana would be taxed at 16% and the new revenue would be dedicated to fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure. The proposal would ban smoking marijuana in public places like restaurants and open spaces like sidewalks and parks. It also requires all packaging to be childproof and labeled, bans advertising to children and bans the sale of gummy bears, gummy worms and other products that resemble kids’ candy. Knowing just what you know right now, would you vote Yes or No on this proposal? [Definitely/Probably]

47.0% — Definitely Yes
18.5% — Probably Yes
6.3% — Probably No
19.0% — Definitely No
9.3% — Don’t Know, Refused

65.5% — Total Yes
25.3% — Total No
9.3% — Don’t know, Refused

When broken down, although there is stronger support for its passing amongst Democrat and Independent and unaffiliated voters (Both around 70%), Republicans also support its passage with 56% expressing a willingness to vote Yes on the citizen initiative to legalize marijuana.

Voters 50 and older are likely to make up more than half of the Arizona electorate this November. Despite reservations that these audiences have indicated in the past, they appear likely to support Smart and Safe Arizona this time around. Voters 50-64 support the proposal with 63% and 65 and older indicated 55% support.

In fact, across all demographics, the only subset that did not achieve a majority of support was among those who described themselves as “Very conservative.” Among that audience, the issue was split evenly – 47.6% in favor and 47.6% opposed.

“As long as Smart and Safe Arizona can qualify for the ballot, all signs point to 2020 being the year that recreational marijuana finally becomes legal in Arizona,” said Paul Bentz, Sr. Vice President of Research and Strategy at HighGround, Inc., “Of course, there is still strong opposition among some of those who represent the most conservative segments of the electorate. We should expect a legal challenge coming from that audience because at this point, that’s the likely the only way they can defeat this issue.”

The road to legalized marijuana in Arizona has been rocky over the past few election cycles. But with the clarity surrounding the initiative language, the 16% tax to support public safety, community colleges, and infrastructure, it looks like this year might be the year Arizona joins the west in legal recreational marijuana use.

Bentz concluded, “Clearly, the initiative backers have learned from the mistakes of the past and have done everything they can to put together a more palatable proposal. In particular, they were wise to make this proposition more ‘family friendly’ by banning smoking in public and ensuring products cannot resemble children’s candy. Ultimately, that’s likely what got them over the hump with a majority of Republicans.”

Note: HighGround, Inc. has not been hired to work in support or opposition to the Smart and Safe Arizona Act.

About the Survey
The N=400 survey was conducted among likely voters 5/18 through 5/22. The poll surveyed likely Arizona 2020 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users. The partisan advantage was set at +4% GOP based on previous election trends and expected Presidential Election turnout. The margin of error is ±4.9%.