Poll: support for Utah’s medical marijuana ballot initiative dips to 51% three weeks before Election Day

Posted at 11:16 AM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 21:42:22-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A new poll released Tuesday finds support for Utah's Proposition 2 has dropped significantly, just three weeks from Election Day.

The  Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows 51% support for the medial marijuana ballot initiative with 46% in opposition. Another 3% remain undecided on the measure.

Support among active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also dropped from previous polls, the Tribune reported. 28%  support Prop. 2 while 68% are opposed. The LDS Church has been vocal in its opposition to the initiative.

"It's kind of an outlier," DJ Schanz, the director of the Utah Patients Coalition, which is sponsoring Prop. 2, said in an interview Tuesday with FOX 13.

"Consistently, we've been in the 60 percents," he added. "We feel pretty strongly we're going to end up there come Nov. 7."

But opponents of Prop. 2 said they believe the poll reflects voters learning more about problems with the initiative itself.

"This polling just reinforces what we have been seeing over the last few months. The more people learn about what is actually in Prop 2, the less likely they are to support it.  Medical marijuana should be made available to patients who need it, but Prop 2 is the wrong approach.  It simply goes too far," said Drug Safe Utah's Jennifer Scott.

The poll comes after a deal was struck between opponents, supporters, the governor and legislative leadership to implement some kind of medical cannabis program in Utah regardless of whether Prop. 2 passes or fails.

Schanz said voters should still approve Prop. 2, to keep the legislature at their word.

"We think it's important to send a clear and substantive message that we support patients and the concept of medical cannabis in Utah," he said. "That's why it's so important to vote yes on Prop. 2."

As part of the compromise, supporters and opponents continue to campaign on the initiative itself, while withdrawing TV and digital ads. Volunteers for the Utah Patients Coalition continue to knock on doors to urge a yes vote on Prop. 2. The LDS Church confirmed to FOX 13 it has formally dropped out of Drug Safe Utah's coalition that included lawmakers, other faith groups and business leaders opposed to the initiative.