62% of Georgia Voters Support Marijuana Decriminalization

  • by Sabrina Fendrick January 22, 2014


    Atlanta, GA – A newly released poll found that over half of Georgia voters support a marijuana legalization policy similar to that of Colorado and Washington (54%), however that same report found that even larger majority supports decriminalization.  62% of respondents believe that the state should remove criminal penalties for possession of less than one ounce of pot, and replace it with a $100 civil fine, without the possibility of jail time.  Only 32% were opposed.  Interestingly, 56% of seniors, and republicans respectively, were among that nearly two-thirds majority.

     The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) was commissioned by state affiliates of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Georgia NORML, and Peachtree NORML.  Said Peachtree NORML’s Executive Director Sharon Ravert, “The citizens of Georgia agree, marijuana prohibition is a wasteful and destructive policy.  It is time for our state to catch up with public opinion and find a more sensible solution to the status quo.”  Peachtree NORML and other advocacy groups are working with lawmakers and various state coalition groups to amend Georgia’s criminal marijuana laws. In 2010, some 32,500 Georgians were arrested for violating marijuana laws, according to the FBI. That is the sixth highest total of any state in America.

    Also of note, only 9% of respondents were millennials.  This demographic is known to be overwhelmingly supportive of this issue, but their limited representation highlights the fact that there is significant support among other age groups.  71% of those questioned were between the ages of 30 and 65 which suggests that older generations, who are more likely to vote, are also strongly in favor of decriminalization.   It’s clear that the widespread support for marijuana law reform in the traditionally conservative state of Georgia has grown to such an extent that it now reaches across all party lines, age groups and races.

    “Though it may be surprising to some, these numbers are consistent with a growing trend of support for reform in the southern region of the country,” said Sabrina Fendrick NORML’s Outreach Coordinator for the southeastern region.   Recent polls conducted in Louisiana and Oklahoma both show a majority of support (56% and 53% respectively) for a change in the law providing for a $100 fine without jail time for those who possess an ounce or less of marijuana.  Said Fendrick, “Everywhere you look you will see more and more people dissatisfied with the strict penalties associated with current marijuana laws, and an ever increasing number of southerners are ready for a  sensible alternative to existing failed policies, including decriminalization.”


    31 responses to “62% of Georgia Voters Support Marijuana Decriminalization”

    1. The Anti-Prohibitionist says:

      Good on ya, Georgians! The times are changing, and I have high hopes for the future! This time last year nobody would have truly expected to see cannabis completely legalized in Colorado (not to mention, being sold in public retail locations open to all persons over 21!) and Washington State. These truly are exciting times, and I’m willing to bet that at least two more states will pass legalization bills before the year is over! Keep supporting the cause in any way you can, whether it be educating your neighbors or family, pledging monetary donations to NORML and other groups that advocate for our cause, or participating in your local NORML chapter (or starting your own if there isn’t one already!)

    2. Stanleyj says:

      Being from the South, I know I’m sick of the way the law is enforced in Tennessee. It’s nothing more than state sanctioned gangs enriching themselves on seizures of others personal property.

    3. Stanleyj says:

      Being from the South, I know I am sick of the way the laws are being enforced in Tennessee.
      It is nothing more than state sanctioned gangs enriching themselves on the personal property of others. Then putting the tab for incarceration on the rest of us.

    4. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Another interstate bust in Idaho. Guy named Xiong from Sacramento was arrested after a traffic stop in the area of Blackfoot Idaho with 150 lbs on board. It seems that Idaho law enforcement are running a statewide search competition in which police Cpl. Chad Braswell, and his dog Moxie placed second last year reports the Idaho State Journal. Be careful in Idaho, state troupers are hot to trot Lots of real big sagebrush alongside the interstate for the buggers to hide behind.

    5. real michaud says:

      do a poll in NC, but good for GA 🙂

      [Editor’s note: A supportive poll was published yesterday by Elon University in N.C.!]

    6. davematson says:

      This is pretty great news, even if it if not that surprising. It’s in line with national numbers. I wonder why they didn’t poll medical marijuana, which Georgia still desperately needs.
      But if they jump right to full legalization, that will work fine.

    7. Voice of the Resistance says:

      The Idaho State Journal ran the drug bust story in todays paper along with a feature about a public opinion poll, should marijuana be legalized in Idaho at Idahostatejournal
      .com but I could not find it on their web site. The phone number for the Idaho State Journal is (208)232-4161. Nation wide do me, and Idaho a favor friends give them a call and a piece of your mind please.

    8. Evening Bud says:

      Fox News is working in overdrive to keep the sheep frightened. It will be entertaining to watch the talking heads on that network stutter and fall all over themselves trying to explain the inevitable spread of legalization. I wonder which of them will be the first to utter the words, “The end of civilization as we know it!” Probably Doocy.

    9. james says:

      Glad the state I live in is changing. We even have a Republican that introduced a bill SR 756 for a committee to recommend medicinal marina a here in Ga a few days ago and it has already been referred to committee. Ga is coming a long way and bout time to. I even think our Gov backs the bill. Hope Normal can keep us updated and does a big push for us since we are the heart of the south…

    10. Ray says:

      The people have this one right. Marijuana reform is about saying we want an alternative to alcohol and pills. We have all seen the destruction prescription pills and drinking cause. Sure it’s a vice, but it is only illegal because the moral police created prohibition and said so.

      Speak up Georgia, write those letters,make those phone calls.