CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- A new poll by Orion Strategies determined voters' opinions on various issues being discussed by the state legislature Thursday evening.
“We fielded a statewide live-telephone survey of historic, likely voters centering on the main issues listed by legislators in both parties and the Governor’s State of the State Address,” Orion Strategies pollster Graham Godwin stated in a press release Thursday.
When asked about opioid issues in West Virginia:
-533% of voters believe the opioid/drug epidemic has gotten worse and 34% believe it has remained the same. Only 5% believe it has improved.
-49% of respondents believe that medically-assisted treatments should be given priority in dealing with opioid and heroin addiction, with 33% suggesting abstinence-only programs.
-41% of respondents say that addiction is a moral weakness and 33% believe it is a medical condition. 19% suggested that is both.
-67% of West Virginia voters know someone who is suffering, or who has suffered from addiction to oxycodone, heroin or other opioids.
-73% of respondents support providing free long-term birth control to women addicted to opioids.
When being asked about co-tenancy, those polled were given a scenario where ten people owned a tract of mineral rights. Seven of the owners wanted to see the tract for natural gas drilling and three did not. When asked if the seven have the right to sell the tract if the other three were paid their proportionate share of compensation, 64% said yes and 22% said no. When broken down by party, the results were 66% yes and 23% no for Democrats, 54% yes and 20% no for Independent, and 68% yes and 20% no for Republicans.
When asked about the legalization of marijuana:
-When asked if marijuana should be legalized for medicinal use when prescribed by a doctor, 67% were for and 30% were against. Godwin says it is a 6 point increase over a similar poll done one year ago.
-When asked if marijuana should be legalized for recreational use by those 21 and older, 34% were for and 62% were against. In a poll one year ago 26% were for and 70% were against.
When asks about Education issues:
-73% were in support of a proposed change to elect the members of the state Board of Education, which are currently appointed by the governor. 21% thought the members should be appointed.
-72% stated teacher compensation was too low, 19% stated it was about right, and 2% stated it was too high.
When asked about West Virginia's economy lagging behind the nation's, 36% believed the single largest impact was the opioid/drug epidemic, 17% blamed the reliance on fossil fuels, 14% blamed the lack of highway infrastructure, and 12% blamed the lack of a college-educated workforce.
44% of voters polled felt the state was headed in the right direction, and 38% felt it was not.
20% of those polled said they watched Governor Jim Justice's State of the State address. Of those that did, 54% rated it positively.