Poll: More Americans Favor Legalizing Pot than Online Gambling

A poll conducted by New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickenson University found that 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana while only 27 percent favor legalizing online gambling in states that don’t already have it.

A new poll shows Americans are far more tolerant of recreational pot smoking than playing casino games for real money online.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds that 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana use, while only 27 percent support legalizing Internet gambling in the 47 states that don’t allow it.

Online gambling is allowed in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, but the poll suggests states also considering legalizing online gaming don’t have much public support.

“Right now online gambling looks to be a long shot in the court of public opinion,” Krista Jenkins, the poll’s director and a professor of political science at the university told the Associated Press.

The poll was designed to examine public attitudes about two activities that frequently take place whether legal or not, Jenkins said.

However, 65 percent of respondents said they are not closely following news about online gambling.

Still, when asked if they favor or oppose allowing casinos to run online gambling for people in their states, 63 percent are opposed, with 27 percent approving.

Those numbers are in line with similar polls taken in 2012 and 2010.

For marijuana, 86 percent of respondents said they’ve heard of or read about legalization efforts.

Democrats (63 percent) favor legalization more than Republicans (32 percent), with independents (58 percent) more closely aligned with Democrats. Young people also are far more supportive of legalization.

“Democrats see getting high as a lifestyle choice, whereas Republicans are more likely to understand it through the prism of morality and social deviance,” Jenkins told the wire service. “However, the age differences we’re seeing suggest that legal (pot) smoking in the future is more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.'”

The nationwide poll of 1,151 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the United States was conducted by telephone with both landline and cellphones from April 21-27. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.