When he got the question on his call-in radio show Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards noted that by now, he was expecting to be asked each month when Louisiana would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
His answer was the same as it always is: He backed legalizing medical marijuana for people suffering from painful medical conditions, but he’s just not ready to go there when it comes to recreational use.
Turns out a majority of his constituents may be.
According to the final installment of LSU’s Louisiana Survey, conducted annually by the Manship School’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, 55 percent of the 917 Louisiana adults interviewed in February and March said they back legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, while 42 percent said they oppose a practice that some other states have adopted.
Men are much more inclined to back legalized pot, according to the poll, with 65 percent in favor compared to 46 percent of women.
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Regionally, the idea is most popular in the metro New Orleans area, with 71 percent in favor. In the northern parts of the state, approval of recreational marijuana is in the low 40s.
And here’s the least surprising tidbit of all: The results vary widely by age. Eighty percent of respondents 29 and younger said they favor making recreational pot legal. The numbers drop steadily among older age groups, with 67 percent of those between 30 and 49, and 51 percent of 50 to 64 year-olds, in favor. Among the poll’s oldest respondents, those over 65, only 27 percent approve.