Poll shows Georgians opinions changing on gambling, education and medical marijuana

Georgia College

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Georgia College and State University recently conducted a poll which concluded that citizens of the state support casino gambling, legalizing medical marijuana and paying more to improve public education.

The Department of Goverment and Sociology's Georgia State of the State Poll takes in residents' opinions on important issues. Issues in the poll focus on aspects of the state such as the economy, elected officials' job performance and more.

Dr. Min Kim, co-author and interim chair of the department, said, “Key highlights from respondents include that Georgians continue to be optimistic about the overall direction of the state."

“Although education and the economy were noted as the two most important issues facing the state,” Kim said, “Georgians did remain positive about the economy.”

The poll revealed that at 58.2 percent, most Georgians support casino gambling, with 30.4 percent opposing it.

Last year, 51 percent supported it.

The poll also found that most Georgians were unhappy in some way with public education at 58.2 percent, with 55 percent indicating they would be prepared to invest more money to improve it.

Last year, 62 percent of Georgians were unhappy with public education.

Legalizing same-sex marriage was supported by approximately half of Georgians.

Seventy seven percent of citizens indicated they supported legalizing medical marijuana.

"You know they've shown how much it helps veterans, people with PTSD," said Macon resident Rachel Drudy. "Certainly better than prescription painkillers that are obviously causing a huge problem today, in Middle Georgia especially."

Many poll respondents opposed carrying guns on college campuses, with 61.4 percent indicating they disagreed with the initiative.

"I don't think conceal carry is one of these things that is going to solve mass shootings, but I do think it is a Constitutional right that we have," said GCSU student Austin Von Kutzleben.

Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Costas Spirou said, “A central aspect of public policymaking is the need for relevant, timely and accurate information. The GSSP will continue to make a significant contribution to effective planning by engaging the state’s citizenry and increasing the understanding of various issues among policymakers and their constituents."

The 2017 Georgia's State of the State Poll was conducted by a random telephone survey between March 21- 31, 2017. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4 percent. All participants interviewed were 18 years of age or older.

For more information and scheduling interviews, please call 478-445-8668 or 478-508-2599, or email at

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