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EXCLUSIVE POLL: Most Georgians now say recreational marijuana should be legal

Support for legalization has grown over the years in Georgia.

ATLANTA — Most voters in Georgia now say that marijuana should be legal for recreational purposes, according to an exclusive poll commissioned by 11Alive News and conducted by SurveyUSA.

According to the poll, 55% of Georgia voters believe that recreational marijuana should be legalized, while 35% said it should remain against the law.

Two years ago, 48% supported legalizing recreational marijuana. At that time, opposition was at 38%.

Voters also overwhelmingly support the idea of state-regulated cultivation of marijuana in order to produce legal medical cannabis oil, according to the poll, with 71% saying they'd be in favor. Only 16% said they don't support state-regulated cultivation, and 12% said they weren't sure. It is currently illegal to grow marijuana for any reason in Georgia.

Medical marijuana has slowly expanded in Georgia in the past few years. The state's first medical marijuana bill was passed by the General Assembly in 2015 and covers more than 15 other medical conditions.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill earlier this month expanding the legal use of medical marijuana in Georgia to include those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and intractable pain.

Anyone who falls in those categories may apply for a low THC oil registry card, which permits qualified people to have up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant.

MORE RESULTS | Will there be a Republican run-off in Georgia governor's race?

Georgia's law is far more limited than other states like Colorado and California, in that it does not legalize the sale or possession of marijuana in leaf form. Retail establishments in the state of Georgia are not permitted to sell marijuana or items produced from the cannabis plant. Physicians in Georgia are not permitted to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes as they are in some other states.

HOW THE POLL WAS CONDUCTED: 11Alive commissioned the scientific poll with SurveyUSA. They interviewed 2,875 state of GA adults 05/10/18 through 05/15/18. Of the adults, 2,339 were registered to vote.


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