Coloradans favor legalizing marijuana and they love Tim Tebow

It is probably just a coincidence, but polling released today by Public Policy Polling shows that Coloradans love Tim Tebow and think marijuana should be legal. If they had to choose one or the other, though, it looks like Tebow in a landslide.

Forty-nine percent think marijuana should generally be legal to only 40% who believe it should be illegal. Independents think it should be legal by a 54/34 spread.

When it comes to marijuana usage specifically for medical purposes, 68% of voters support it to only 25% that think it should be illegal. Even Republicans support it by a 50/40 margin.

This flies in the face of statements made by a number of legislators over the past year that if voters knew what they were in for, they would never have approved medical marijuana in the first place. Apparently most voters aren’t bothered by the proliferation of dispensaries in the state.

“It’s unfortunate, but decision-makers and elected officials really just don’t have the pulse of the people they represent,” said Art Way, Colorado manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The average person considers the federal position that marijuana has no medical value to be a joke.”

Way said most of the polls he has seen shows even stronger support for legalization than this one. “I think it will go higher as the campaign (for legalization in Colorado, on the ballot in 2012) heats up.

“Legislators are a little behind on this. It is our job to get them on board,” Way said.

“Out of all the states that went for George W. Bush twice and then voted for Barack Obama, I think Colorado is probably the least likely to flip back to the GOP column next year,” said PPP’s Tom Jensen in an email. “And the fact that voters in the state think both gay marriage and general marijuana usage should be legal makes me that much more skeptical folks there will choose Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich over Obama.”

(A separate story on marriage equality polling will follow this one.)

Only 37% of Colorado voters say they support the goals of the Tea Party to 48% who are opposed, including a 30/53 spread with independents. Meanwhile they narrowly support the Occupy Wall Street movement by a 41/39 margin. Asked which of the movements they have a higher opinion of, they go for Occupy Wall Street 43/39.

Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot in Colorado 46-42, including 40-30 with independents.

Tim Tebow (+46 at 59/13) has a higher net favorability rating than John Elway (+43 at 62/19) with voters in Colorado. Tebow is a source of some partisan division though with 77% of Republicans but only 49% of Democrats expressing a positive opinion of him. New Broncos coach John Fox hasn’t made a terribly strong impression on voters in the state yet with 39% seeing him favorably to 12% with a negative view, but 49% not having formed an opinion at all yet.

There’s a pretty close three way race among Colorado voters for their favorite college. The University of Colorado wins out with 22% but Air Force and Colorado State are not far behind with 17% each. Colorado College and Northern Colorado at 6% and Denver at 5% round out the field. There’s a partisan divide on this issue as well- Democrats prefer Colorado to Air Force 34-7, but Republicans prefer Air Force to Colorado 28-13.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.


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