Robbie Shade

Massachusetts Voters Split Over Cannabis Legalization

Voters in Massachusetts are split on legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll, which found 43 percent of likely voters would support such a ballot initiative compared to 45.8 percent opposed.

Proponents lost a bit of ground in the poll released Saturday. A July 2014 poll found 48 percent were pro-legalization, with 47 percent opposed.

Fifty percent of those polled were also opposed to citizens growing their own cannabis for personal use, while 40 percent approved of the proposal.

The spike in disapproval numbers comes just two months after Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and state Attorney General Maura Healey penned on op-ed in The Boston Globe espousing prohibitionist rhetoric.

The state has already decriminalized marijuana via a 2008 ballot question, and has medical infrastructure thanks to a 2012 referendum. Another poll in March, by WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio and UMass Amherst, found 53 percent approval for recreational marijuana, with 40 percent opposed – that poll was released just days before the article by Baker, Walsh and Healey was published.

The legalization ballot question is likely to appear on Massachusetts ballots in November. The 2004 decriminalization initiative passed with 65 percent support, and the 2012 medical cannabis initiative with 63 percent support.

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