Half of Mass. Voters OK with Legalized Marijuana
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Half of Mass. Voters OK with Legalized Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on July 04, 2014 at 17:01:20 PT
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
Source: Boston Globe
Massachusetts -- Nearly half of Massachusetts voters would support the legalization of marijuana, according to a new Boston Globe poll that suggests the state could be fertile ground for a ballot campaign to legalize the drug here in 2016.Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they would support a ballot question making it legal for adults over 21 to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana, while 47 percent said they would oppose such a measure. Five percent said they do not know how they would vote.
The results indicate that support for legalization has moved from the political fringes only a few years ago into the mainstream, particularly among younger voters, baby boomers, and Democrats. However, many older voters, independents, and Republicans remain opposed to casual use of the drug.The growing public acceptance of the drug has also been captured in national surveys that show that while Americans strongly opposed the legalization of marijuana from the 1970s through the late 1990s, they have recently come to support such efforts by a slim majority.Advocates are trying to place a legalization measure on the ballot in Massachusetts and five other states in 2016, hoping to build on the passage of similar ballot questions in Colorado and Washington in 2012.Marijuana supporters have targeted Massachusetts because voters here strongly approved measures that decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug in 2008 and allowed its use for medical purposes in 2012.“I don’t want to underestimate the value of a good campaign on either side,” which could shift public support for legalization in either direction, said John Della Volpe, chief executive of SocialSphere Inc., which conducted the poll for the Globe. But the results suggest, “You’ve got a trend toward acceptance, and this bodes pretty well for the proponents.”The live telephone survey of 601 likely voters was conducted from June 22 to June 24 and from June 29 to July 1. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points for the survey overall and 5.1 percentage points for a narrower sample of likely Democratic primary voters.Robert Ayer, a 32-year-old pizzeria manager from Tewksbury, was among the respondents who said he would support the legalization of marijuana if the question were on the ballot.“I think it would be good for our economy, for starters, and it’s no more harmful than alcohol or anything, so it wouldn’t really be a drag on society like everyone makes it out to be,” he said in a folllow-up interview. “Colorado is showing it really works.”But like many older voters, Mary Ann Couch, a 68-year-old retired gas company worker from Springfield, said she opposes making the drug legal for casual use.“I believe in marijuana if it’s given by a doctor to help people who are sick, but just to go ahead and use it? No,” she said in an interview. “You start with marijuana and go on to something else, and pretty soon you’re addicted.”Yet the poll indicated that legalization would not encourage more people to use the drug.If marijuana were legal, 10 percent of likely voters said they would definitely or probably use it — about equal to the 9 percent who said they currently use it, either regularly (4 percent) or once in the past year (5 percent). Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they had used the drug, but not in the last year, while 49 percent said they had never used it.The social stigma around the drug may also be lifting, according to the poll.Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their perception of a friend would not change, either positively or negatively, if they learned that person used marijuana recreationally. Notably, that result was the same for older and younger voters, who were divided on other marijuana-related questions.The poll found some concerns that the state’s current medical marijuana law may be too lenient. The regulations allow patients to purchase up to 10 ounces of marijuana every 60 days if a doctor deems it medically necessary. This amounts to approximately 500 joints over two months, and has led some physician groups to worry that the drug could be sold on the black market.Forty-seven percent of respondents said they agreed that the 10-ounce limit is excessive, while 36 percent said it was appropriate and 17 percent said they did not know.As it does each week, the Globe poll also tracked the candidates in the governor’s race.Results showed that the Democratic primary contest is holding steady, with Attorney General Martha Coakley continuing to dominate her rivals: state Treasurer Steve Grossman and former federal health care official Don Berwick.For the third straight week since the party convention in Worcester, Coakley had the support of 52 percent of likely Democratic primary voters.Grossman was at 19 percent in the poll this week as well as last week, and at 18 percent three weeks ago. Berwick was at 8 percent this week and last week and 7 percent the week before that. The results show that neither Grossman, who won the convention, nor Berwick, who narrowly missed beating Coakley, has been able to use those strong showings to eat into Coakley’s lead.In a general election, Coakley remains the only Democrat who would beat Republican Charlie Baker, although her lead has slipped slightly. She would top Baker 40 percent to 31 percent — a 9-point margin, down slightly from 11 points last week and 13 points the week before that.Coakley’s drop came as she was dealt two separate blows — first as the state’s Supreme Judicial Court overruled her by allowing a casino repeal to go before voters, and then as the Supreme Court struck down a law she had defended that barred protesters within 35 feet of abortion clinics.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Michael Levenson, Globe Staff Published: July 3, 2014Copyright: 2014 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: URL: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #8 posted by observer on July 05, 2014 at 13:09:26 PT
The Terror-Inducing "L" - Word
re: "Nearly half of Massachusetts voters would support the legalization of marijuana, according to a new Boston Globe poll that suggests the state could be fertile ground for a ballot campaign to legalize the drug here in 2016."And that is asking the question in a way ("legalization", "legalize"), to get the lowest numbers possible for that scary "Legalization" boogeyman.When asked to positively endorse and advocate for the arrests, jailing, and imprisonment of people for the heinous crime of "marijuana", far fewer than 50% of Americans (who aren't on the take in the war on pot users), are willing to do that to each other. That's why the MSM punches that scary "Legalization" word for all it is worth. Who knows what some abstract "Legalization" is? It means different things to different people. But ask people to go along with police state pot arrests and prison terms for weed (more concrete images), and fewer are OK with that government gun-in-your back stuff. All that said, even the MSM trying night and day, lying continuously about pot, waving a scary "Legalization" in front of people like a matador waves a red cape; that wears thin. People see through it. So screaming, "Legalizer, Legalize, Legalization of Marijuana - Drug Legalization!", doesn't move people like it once did. But apparently centralized government propaganda czar planners and party apparatchiks in the mockingbird MSM still think they can get mileage out that old marijuana "Legalization" scarecrow - or they wouldn't use it.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 05, 2014 at 05:19:49 PT
Colorado’s Hemp Crop Is Waist-High
Forget Knee-High, Colorado’s Hemp Crop Is Waist-High By The Fourth Of JulyURL:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 05, 2014 at 04:34:10 PT
I should have the generation before my generation.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 05, 2014 at 04:32:53 PT
I'm 66. It's not my generation but the generation after mine. We are the 60s generation. It really is more if the people my age are Republicans or Democrats I believe.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 05, 2014 at 04:28:12 PT
Long Lines for Medical Marijuana Farmers Market
Vidoe Link:
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on July 05, 2014 at 02:23:52 PT
Don't tread on Me!
This slogan still has a strong message. Freedom is still the best game in town. I have a premonition that in a few years the whole world will be "turned on" to the truth! It is fun to watch the dominos fall. It is fun to watch the trough feeders squirm as their world of lies and deception crumble! After prison I said to me Dear Wife, I just want to live long enough to see truth win over tyranny. I want to live to see legalization. This will be a triumph enough over my enemies!
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on July 04, 2014 at 23:16:37 PT:
Not the old but, the very old...
Universer...don't count out a lot of those 68-year-olds, many of them are herb smokers themselves. That's only ten years older than me, so they smoke almost as much as we do. It's not the "old", but the very old, who are generally against marijuana legalization...people of the Silent Generation (or the WWII Generation)that were very brainwashed against it. Don't forget, when they were kids, the movie Reefer Madness was playing!
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Comment #1 posted by Universer on July 04, 2014 at 22:22:20 PT
Keeping the Trend
Twenty sixteen is a long ways away. Much can happen before November 2016, when hopefully Massachusetts voters will get their crack at prohibition correction.While one could be dismayed that this poll shows a mere 48%/47% split, I find this encouraging -- for the very reason that a potential referendum is still 28 months off. Prior to then, quite likely three more states (Oregon, Alaska and D.C. (which I'll call for these purposes a "state")) will have ushered in legalization, and perhaps fellow New Englanders in Rhode Island will have legalized through legislation. Then, the Bay State would not have the scary circumstance of being among the first, and those favorable numbers will have increased by the time they really matter.Plus, a few of those 68-year-olds may -- ahem -- no longer be voting, and quite a few soon-to-be 18-year-olds will be taking their places in the polls.In short, with the caveat that I don't wanna be jinxin' nothin', I have much hope for Massachusetts making the right decision in 2016.
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