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Poll claims just 10 percent of Coloradans have used pot since retail sales began

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A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Feb. 10 says that just 10 percent of Coloradans have used marijuana since retail sales for recreational use began on Jan. 1.

According to the poll, only 10 percent of the state’s residents claim to have used marijuana since retail stores opened up for business on New Year’s Day. Overall, 51 percent of Coloradans said they have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, the exact same figure as a poll released by Quinnipiac in August of 2013 and an indication that retail accessibility isn’t tempting those who have never tried the drug.

Even outside of retail sales, the poll paints a picture of a state whose residents aren’t really interested in using marijuana despite it being legal, but they don’t mind if others do. Just “17 percent of Colorado voters say it is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ they would try marijuana brownies if someone brought them to a gathering,” with 70 percent saying they would be “very unlikely” to try the brownies. However, 73 percent of respondents said that it would not bother them if one of their neighbors was growing marijuana in their homes.

There are still other ways the poll revealed a highly nuanced view of marijuana within the state. When asked if they think that “the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado” has been good or bad for Colorado's national image, 51 percent of respondents said they believed that it was bad, with 38 percent saying good. Nevertheless, when asked if they “support or oppose” the law, 58 percent of Coloradans said they supported it, up from the 54 percent who said they were in support of it last August.

As indicated in other recent polls about attitudes toward marijuana, the issue is largely split along age demographics. The poll divided respondents into four different age groups, 18-29, 30-49, 50-64 and 65+. Although the number of those who said they’ve tried marijuana in their lifetime stays remarkably consistent over the first three demographics (59, 57, and 58 percent, respectively), it drops to just 26 percent for those over the age of 65. Likewise, the youngest group was more than three times as likely to have sampled legal pot since January (27 percent) than the next group (8 percent of those between 30-49).

Political affiliation was also a major factor in attitudes. 76 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents said they support the pot law, with 57 percent of Republicans saying they opposed it. The contrast was even more stark on the image question, with 73 percent of Republicans saying it hurt the perception of Colorado, while 57 percent of Democrats said it was actually good for the state’s national image.

According to the news release, “Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,139 registered voters” between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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