By: John Binder
Are Louisiana residents becoming more and more libertarian? New research sure helps paint that picture.
Same-sex marriage and recreational use of marijauana are less likely to be opposed by residents in the state, possibly than ever before, a survey by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab found.
Though Louisiana residents are more likely to oppose same-sex marriage than residents of other states, support sits at about 42 percent, while 51 percent still oppose the initiative. Based on this, opposition to same-sex marriage has shrunk by nearly half over the past two years.
Additionally, residents between the ages of 18 and 29 are the only age group for whom a majority of 59% favors allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the state. Residents age 65 or older are the most opposed to the initiative, with 62% opposing.
This trend of millennials supporting same-sex marriage and baby boomers opposing the idea is in-line with the national sentiment.
Meanwhile, support for legalizing marijuana for personal and recreational use has ticked up to 45 percent, with opposition still ahead at 52 percent. This is another trend in which the gap between opposition and support has been narrowed by half since 2013.
For medical use, though, legal pot is way up at 60 percent, while only 39 percent oppose the proposal. The lead has shrunk considerably from 2014 numbers.
Only 18 to 29 year old residents have a majority supporting legalization of marijuana for personal use, at 68 percent. And residents 65 years or older are the only age group to oppose legalization for medical use with 55 percent opposing.
Also, residents seem to be loosening up on jail sentencing for individuals possessing small amounts of pot. 67 percent said individuals convicted of this should not serve jail time. The number is even higher, 79 percent, when residents know the cost of incarcerating individuals convicted of possessing marijuana.
Altogether, the study had 980 respondents with a margin of error of + or – 3.1 percent.