Poll: 9 In 10 Kentuckians Back Medical Marijuana

Feb 5, 2020

Public support for the legalization of marijuana is growing in the commonwealth. That's according to a new survey by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Credit Bea Kallos/MTI via AP

The 2019 Kentucky Health Issues poll found a whopping 90 percent of respondents favor lifting restrictions on medical marijuana, making it a rare instance of near total agreement across the political spectrum. And while support for across-the-board legalization is stronger among Democrats, a majority of Republicans and Independents also responded positively when asked if they backed legalization for medical purposes or "under any circumstances."

When asked specifically about recreational marijuana, support among Republicans dropped to 38 percent.

Rep. Jason Nemes, who is sponsoring a medical marijuana bill, is sounding more optimistic about its chances this session, but he says it's an issue where lawmakers continue to lag behind their constituents.

"Even though we're talking about 60 or 70 members supporting it on the House floor, maybe more, that still pales in comparison to the percentage of support among our citizens," the Louisville legislator told WUKY.

A medical marijuana bill emerged from committee for the first time in 2019, but did not reach the House floor. Even if this year's bill makes it that far, major roadblocks await in the Senate, where leaders have shown little interest in proceeding without more research.