Poll shows strong support for medical marijuana in Kentucky

A statewide poll has found that 78 percent of Kentucky adults support the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes if recommended by their doctor, while only 26 percent of favor it for recreational purposes.

There were no significant differences in the poll results among the regions of the state on the medical-marijuana question, but on the recreational-use question, the Louisville area and Northern Kentucky were more likely to favor it, at about 37 percent. For geographic and demographic breakdowns of the poll results, click here.

Nationally, 17 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, and three states have recently legalized it for recreational use.

“Our Kentucky Health Issues Poll is designed to be informative to Kentucky policymakers,” said Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which co-sponsored the poll. “Over the past several years, bills dealing with legalization of marijuana have been filed in the Kentucky General Assembly. This research gives policymakers a snapshot of Kentuckians’ views on this issue and should be helpful as lawmakers consider issues for the 2014 legislative session.”

For years, Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced bills in the Kentucky Senate aimed to legalize medical marijuana. Although the bills, referred to as The Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act, gained media coverage in the 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions, they have not received a committee hearing and have not passed.

The poll was funded by the foundation and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and was conducted last year from Sept. 20 to Oct. 14 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,680 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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