In a recent post I discussed the astounding 31 point gender gap between men and women on the marijuana legalization question.  Chris Ingraham left this comment:

I’d note that in the exit polls of the most recent ballot measures on marijuana in FL, OR, and AK, the gender gap on support for those measures was much, much smaller – in the neighborhood of 5 points or so. I’d be hesitant to draw too many conclusions from a survey conducted two years ago.

Florida looked at a slightly different question (medical marijuana) and both DC and Alaska are unusual “states.”  So I dug up the Oregon exit polls, which show that Chris is right.  Men favored legalization 58 to 42 while women favored legalization by 52 to 48, a gap of 6 or 12 points, depending on how it’s measured.

So unfortunately my previous post on this topic seems to have been based on false information. There probably is a gap, but it’s not that large.  It’s certainly wrong to generalize by saying “women oppose legalization.”  They split pretty evenly, especially if you assume the national figures would be a couple points lower for legalization, as compared to liberal Oregon.

Update:  Commenter Steve breaks it down by married and unmarried.  The gender gap in Alaska is all in the unmarried, and is slightly larger for the unmarried in Oregon.



14 Responses to “Nevermind”

  1. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    7. November 2014 at 10:37

    Unmarried women are pretty disproportionately risk averse in a number of ways (including favoring safer investments, larger safety net, etc.) It’s part of the reason why they’re generally not libertarian, and they’ve pulled the Democratic Party in a “more progressive, less liberal” direction.

  2. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    7. November 2014 at 11:53

    That was fast;

    ‘The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a legal challenge to a key part of the Obamacare health law that, if successful, would limit the availability of federal health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans.’

    And the smart money noticed;

    ‘The share prices of major hospital chains such as HCA Holdings Inc, Community Health Systems Inc and Tenet Healthcare Corp fell a few percentage points within minutes of the Supreme Court’s announcement.’

  3. Gravatar of Andrew Andrew
    7. November 2014 at 16:45

    Is it correct to consider the exit polls of one of the few states that legalized it? Why would we expect them to be “normal” on this issue.

    Maybe I am just disappointed that my speculative hypothesis may go to waste. So why let it?

    In eco-speak, women internalize the negative consequences of other’s drug use more. Therefore they are more likely to (correctly from their stand point) reject the libertarian argument, regardless of their libertarian tendencies in general. This is observed in the prohibition connection that other commenters pointed out. Note that politicians of that day were clearly better at identifying the potential coalition in suffrage/prohibition than apparently anyone today, but I digress.

    Prohibition era woman had a very good reason to oppose drinking, they wanted their husbands to stop drinking, which created a three fold threat. 1. they spent family money on it, 2 were more prone to domestic violence and 3. became less effective bread winners.

    It would be mighty regressive to say all this holds true today, but there remain a number of contexts in which woman would suffer more from someone else’s drug use. Domestic violence is still sadly rampant, and in the majority of relationships the man earns more than the woman.

    You claimed that marijuana remains illegal because woman want it to. Taken one step further, if men want marijuana (and all the other sins) to be legal, they may need to help advance women equality a bit more first.

  4. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    8. November 2014 at 13:06

    Taken one step further, if men want marijuana (and all the other sins) to be legal, they may need to help advance women equality a bit more first.

    1. The conclusion does not follow from the premise.

    2. Funny that when people talk about “female equality” they only talk about equality in high-status fields. You don’t see anybody yelling for “equal representation” in dangerous and/or low-status jobs.

    Gee, I wonder why.

  5. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    9. November 2014 at 00:14

    So, like I keep on saying – your brain decides, and you rationalize afterwards.

    Arguing about politics is about as useful as arguing about eye colour.

  6. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    9. November 2014 at 04:58

    Different people are out there arguing for equality in all the different ways. The priveledge of being paid more for safer work is quite rightly prized over the priveledge of being paid more for more dangerous work. But activists have fought for acess everywhere over the years.
    It would be a far more stunning indictment of the movement if they HAD spent all their time trying to staff floating fish processing factories 50% with women and ignored the gender gap among CEOs and corporate board members…
    Also the scare quotes around ‘female equality’ in your comment are just priceless.

  7. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    9. November 2014 at 07:07


    That is not proof of your claim. See Daniel Sennett’s criticisms.

  8. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    9. November 2014 at 07:23


    Also, if that study leads you to believe that arguing over politics is fruitless, then logically it should also lead you to believe that you arguing over rationalization and decision making is fruitless, and, arguing over anything is fruitless.

    If you believe everything we say and do is causally predetermined, which the study has not shown by the way, then nothing of what we think or say or do can be regarded as wrong. For believing a thought or action is wrong presupposes an ethic of thoughts. Think these right thoughts, but do not think these wrong thoughts.

    Do you say that a specific chemical reaction that results in a laboratory experiment is “wrong”? Of course not. But then nothing people say is wrong (or right) either, including what they say about your epistemological beliefs.

    What is really happening is that your chosen epistemology, which you can decide to reject right now if you wanted, is irrational. You don’t want the responsibility to self-reflect on what you claim. You are grasping at whatever sanctions your choice to deny that responsibility.

  9. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    9. November 2014 at 07:23


  10. Gravatar of Philippe Philippe
    9. November 2014 at 07:45

    ^^ it’s kind of funny how the most illogical and irrational guy wandering around this part of the internet somehow managed to convince himself that he is a righteous Champion of Reason.

  11. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    9. November 2014 at 15:11


    Major_Moron seems particularly lacking in self-awareness and introspection.

  12. Gravatar of cassander cassander
    10. November 2014 at 08:16

    the gender gap on nuclear power is real, however, and just as large.

  13. Gravatar of cassander cassander
    10. November 2014 at 08:19

    the gender gap on nuclear power is real, however, and just as large. 72% of men support nuclear power, compared to 42 percent of women. the partisan split, by the way, is 65 percent of republicans in favor compared to 50% of democrats, meaning (if I did the math right) republican women are more against nuclear power than democratic men.

  14. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    11. November 2014 at 09:53

    I apologize for starting this whole thing. I should remember the biblical admonition: out of the months of 2 or three witnesses. The Quinnipiac poll was the first link that I found and it confirmed my priors (always dangerous) so I linked to it. Next time I will try to confirm.

    So if it isn’t women, who is it and why do I know so few who support the drug laws (and I hang out with a lot of conservatives.) I will have to do some research.

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