ATLANTA -- A majority of Georgians favor legalizing access of medical marijuana while a larger majority opposes allowing guns on college campuses, according to a survey released Thursday.
In a poll conducted Tuesday by automated calling, 51 percent of registered voters said they favor doctor-prescribed medical marijuana “in very specific instances, such as in a liquid form to reduce seizures from young children.” The numbers were roughly the same for Republicans and Democrats but just shy of a majority for people who describe themselves as independents.
This comes after both Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston have been quoted in the media saying they are open to consider legalizing medical uses of marijuana.
“The key here is that any legislation must be on a limited basis. That said, Republicans and Democrats both support this legislation by well over 50 percent, while independent voters are close to a majority as well,” said Matt Towery, president of InsiderAdvantage and a former legislator.
Opposing it are 27 percent of those questioned, and another 22 percent were undecided or had no opinion.
The poll was conducted by InsiderAdvantage for WAGA-TV of Atlanta and Morris News among 2,613 registered voters and has a 1.9 percent margin of error.
The issue of guns on campus is likely to be a major one during the current legislative session. When asked for an opinion of allowing guns carried by students and others on college campuses, just 31 percent were in favor, and 56 percent opposed.
Ralston said its passage is his priority.
“This is about making sure that we protect and expand the Second Amendment rights of Georgians, period,” he said. “We’re not going to back down in the House from that.”
Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, sponsored the original bill that passed the House and Senate last year but stalled over a disagreement over each version. His version focused on recognizing concealed-weapons permits issued by the state of South Carolina and didn’t include the campus-carry provision until the House added it. He agrees that weapons could be jarring to students who aren’t used to being around guns.
“There was so much good on the bill for it to get bogged down on the campus-carry issue,” he said.