Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 13, 2012

Survey finds support for lighter pot law, opposition to gay marriage ban

Indianapolis — A majority of Hoosiers are ready to support the decriminalization of marijuana and oppose putting a same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution, according to a new survey released Thursday.

The 2012 Hoosier Survey done by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University found that 53 percent of Indiana residents think possession of small amounts of marijuana should be treated like a traffic violation rather than a misdemeanor or felony crime. Just 41 percent oppose the idea.

The annual survey, which asks Hoosiers to weigh in on issues likely to be considered in the next legislative session, found that Indiana residents are evenly split on their opinion of same-sex marriage, with 45 percent for legalizing it and 45 percent against. But it also found 54 percent are against putting a ban on it into the state constitution.

Ray Scheele, co-director of the Bowen Center, said the opposition to a constitutional same-sex marriage ban – which has had wide support from Republican legislators in the past – indicates Hoosiers are wary of altering the state’s constitution for an issue that’s still evolving in public opinion.

“We [Hoosiers] view it as a special document not to be tampered with lightly,” said Scheele, of the constitution. The survey findings echo results of the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll in October that found 54 percent of voters would support decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, and just 45 percent would support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Hoosiers do seem ready for the Legislature to tamper with the state’s pot laws, which make marijuana possession a felony unless it’s a first-time offense and the amount is less than 1 ounce.

Support for decriminalizing possession of a small amount of pot – an idea supported by influential conservative Republican Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford – came from people worried about the high cost of prosecuting minor drug offenses, Scheele said.

The survey found opponents of the idea fear it would encourage the use of the marijuana in the state and lead to the use of more serious drugs. Republican Gov.-elect Mike Pence has come out against decriminalization.

Scheele and Ball State University political scientist Joe Losco released the final results of the 2012 Hoosier Survey on Thursday at the Bingham McHale Legislative Conference in Indianapolis. The survey was conducted in mid-November for the Bowen Center and the survey co-sponsor, WISH-TV, by Princeton Research Associates International.

The survey revealed that Hoosiers aren’t in lock-step agreement with the Republicans who now control the Statehouse.

For example, a 2-to-1 majority (64 percent) want the state to spend its surplus revenues on education and job creation instead of a tax cut as proposed by Pence. And while the Legislature has moved to put more limits on abortion, the survey found 52 percent of those surveyed want abortion kept legal in most or all cases, while 41 percent think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

The survey also revealed what Hoosiers do want the Legislature to focus on most: Jobs (81 percent); improving schools (65 percent); making health care more affordable (61 percent) and protecting the environment (44 percent). The survey found that reducing illegal immigration is less of a priority for Hoosiers this year. The priority dropped nearly 9 percentage points this year to 36 percent.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for CNHI newspapers in Indiana, including the Kokomo Tribune. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • IU grad wins $100,000 technology startup prize BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A recent Indiana University graduate has won a $100,000 technology prize that will finance his new startup company devoted to improving hearing aids and prosthetics. Gregory Mattes graduated this year from IU's Kelley School

    August 21, 2014

  • NWS - KT082114 - Banks Additional charges filed against attempted murder suspect A 17-year-old facing attempted murder charges in connection with a Tuesday shooting incident now also faces charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm.Kokomo police were called to the city’s northeast side on a report of shots fired Tues

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jenkins card Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Buddy Bags starts gearing up Every kid who goes to school gets at least one square meal a day. For some kids, that’s the only good meal they’ll get.And when they weekend rolls around, children living in poverty may not be eating at all.“We knew that some kids were eating school

    August 21, 2014

  • More charges filed in attempted murder case

    Additional charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm were filed today in the case against a 17-year-old arrested Tuesday stemming from a shooting on the city's north east side. Kokomo police arrested the teen identified as Treyshon Bank

    August 20, 2014

  • Truckers on Strike Local 135 strikes against trucking company Members of Teamsters Local Union 135 went on strike Wednesday morning against Diamond Trucking Inc. after new contract negotiations broke down Tuesday night. Thirty-eight members of Diamond Trucking, which hauls materials for Kokomo Gravel to places

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS KT 082114 Western site plan Western seeks public input on athletic facility renovations RUSSIAVILLE — For the third month in a row, the main topic of Western School Corp. board of education meeting was a face lift for school facilities. The board held two public hearings before a regular meeting Tuesday to gain input on two stages of th

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indiana told to honor other states' gay marriages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn't take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue. U.S. District Judge R

    August 20, 2014

  • EHS Renovations 04 Eastern's $14 million renovation project nearing completion GREENTOWN – As Eastern Howard School Corp. nears the end of a two-year construction project, the majority of the $14 million renovation is not readily apparent.Much of the work has centered on replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning s

    August 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • SECOND UPDATE: Teen to face adult charges in Monday shooting

    A 17-year-old arrested for attempted murder Monday evening will face the charge as an adult.Treshon Banks is accused of involvement in a shooting incident near Studebaker Park off East Elm Street.A Kokomo Police Department custody report stated

    August 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries