Half of Massachusetts voters support legalizing recreational cannabis, compared to 45 percent opposed, according to a WBUR/MassINC poll, while five percent remain undecided. The poll shows large demographic splits, as 56 percent of voters under 35 support the legalization plan, compared to just 39 percent support among voters 65 and older.
“Younger people are very much in favor of legalization, and it declines steadily as you move up the age brackets to where you get to voters who are 60-plus, and they’re opposed to it by a 17-point margin,” Steve Koczela, MassINC Polling Group president, said in the report.
Aside from gauging the support for November’s ballot initiative, the pollsters asked several questions relating to the respondents’ general attitudes toward cannabis.
Overall, 80 percent of respondents said that marijuana use is “not morally wrong,” but 48 percent said that people using cannabis would present public safety hazards, while 43 percent disagreed.
When given the choice as to what substance is more harmful — tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or sugar — just 4 percent indicated that cannabis was the most harmful; 42 percent pointed to tobacco, 19 percent said alcohol, and 13 percent said sugar.
Another majority — 50 percent to 46 percent — indicated that they did not believe cannabis to be a gateway drug.
Massachusetts is one of five states that will be voting on a recreational-use initiative in November.