PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A majority of Rhode Island voters think recreational marijuana should be legal for consumers over the age of 21, a WPRI 12/Roger Williams University poll released Monday shows.

The survey of 416 likely voters finds 56% think the state should legalize recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and older, while 37% say no and 7% aren’t sure.

“We see a difference in the political parties,” said Eyewitness News political analyst Joe Fleming, who conducted the poll. “Democrats strongly support it, Republicans oppose it, independent voters are divided on it.”

The landline and cell-phone interview poll was conducted Saturday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Oct. 24, by Fleming & Associates of Cumberland, Rhode Island. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus approximately 4.8 percentage points. Fleming has been conducting polls for WPRI 12 since 1984.

Younger voters support legalized pot more than any other age group: 67% of voters between the ages of 18 and 39 support it, compared with 53% of voters between the ages of 40 and 50 say yes.

Fleming said that is likely because those are people with young children and teenagers.

“They are still concerned about this,” Fleming said. “Even then, they still supported it, but it’s still softer than the other age groups.”

In June, the General Assembly voted to create a 19-member commission that is conducted “a comprehensive review” on how marijuana legalization has affected other states and what the impact could be on Rhode Island.

The commission expected to issue a final report on March 1.

Tim White ( is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

Ted Nesi ( covers politics and the economy for He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook