When it comes to marijuana laws and the attitudes towards them, it’s a mixed bag that’s constantly being shook up. In Colorado, for instance, you can walk into a store and legally buy a bag of marijuana, but in other states, you can go to jail for smoking a joint. Though a poll last year found the majority of Americans to support marijuana legalization, that feeling doesn’t seem to extend to Iowa—where most people oppose it. Still, that same survey found growing support for medical marijuana in Iowa, a glimmer of hope that even attitudes there could be changing.
The latest Iowa poll comes from Quinnipiac University. It found an overwhelming 81 percent of voters there support medical marijuana. A mere 17 percent were opposed.
What’s more, opinions didn’t vary too much from one political affiliation to the next—68 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Independents, and 89 percent of Democrats indicated their support.
This marks the highest rate of approval for medical marijuana that Iowa has seen thus far. But, the changing attitudes haven’t yet extended to all-out legalization.
The majority (55 percent) of Iowans oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with only 41 percent supporting it. Just over half of Democrats (54 percent) support legalization while over three-fourths of Republicans (76 percent) oppose it.
“Iowans overwhelmingly think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes, but most voters oppose legalizing personal recreational use,” said Peter Brown, of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Opposition to personal marijuana is higher in Iowa than in any state we’ve surveyed so far on this subject. Support for medical marijuana is comparable to other states.”
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a medical marijuana system is on the mind of Iowa lawmakers.
In 2013, state Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) and Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) proposed a bill that would have opened the door for patients to use and grow marijuana for a number of potentially-debilitating conditions. The bill also laid the groundwork for non-profit dispensaries.
As most Iowans have now expressed their support of such a measure, here’s hoping the lawmakers do what’s necessary to get these patients access to the medicine they need.