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September 16, 2017

Majority of New Jersey voters support recreational marijuana use, poll finds

Voters are also for hiking the minimum wage and background checks for gun owners

A majority of New Jersey voters say they support marijuana use for recreational purposes, according to a new survey.

A Quinnipiac University Poll published Thursday asked voters in the Garden State thoughts on a number of issues, from minimum wage and pot to Gov. Chris Christie and President Donald Trump.

RELATED: New Jersey on fast-track to legalizing recreational pot in 2018

The poll found that 59 percent of voters are in support of legal possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, though 55 percent said that they would "definitely not try" the substance even if it were legal while nine percent said that they would.

Republicans were the only group from the poll that did not support marijuana usage, with 53 percent of voters in opposition.

Twelve percent maintained that marijuana poses more of a danger than alcohol while 38 percent believe it is not as dangerous as alcohol and 46 percent of voters reported believing that both were just as dangerous.

Democrats in the New Jersey have already introduced a bill that would make the state the ninth in the nation to legalize small amounts of marijuana to sell to those 21 or older.

In addition to supporting marijuana, a vast majority of New Jersey voters are also in full support of raising the minimum wage and requiring background checks for gun owners.

Seventy-four percent would like to see the hourly minimum wage rise to $8.44 while 32 percent preferred to see the rate raised to $15 per hour. Nine percent believed that no increase is necessary.

Ninety-six percent of New Jersey voters are supportive of a required background check for gun owners, though 63 percent of voters think that the state wouldn't be as safe if more people possessed guns.

Christie's approval rate as governor is lower than any other state in 20 years of the poll's history with 79 percent feeling dissatisfied with his job in office. A majority of voters disapprove of Trump too, with 61 percent of voters reporting that they believe that he could be doing a better job.

Though, Trump's disapproval rating for Quinnipiac's September poll did improve five percentage points from its June survey.

"President Donald Trump's home away from home is his New Jersey golf course," Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a statement. "But neighborhood doesn't ensure political support. Far from it."

The poll surveyed more than 1,1000 registered voters from Sept. 7-12 in-person and via telephone.

Find the poll's complete results here