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Lots Of Work To Be Done In Order To Legalize Marijuana In Massachusetts


massachusetts marijuana campaign 2016Polls are far from reliable, but they are the best glimpse into an initiative’s chances come election day. Massachusetts activists gathered enough signatures to put marijuana legalization before the Massachusetts Legislature. The Legislature failed to act on the initiative, and now activists need to gather a little over 10k more signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. I’m not from Massachusetts, so I don’t know what the ‘ground game’ is like there, but I have to assume gathering the remaining signatures shouldn’t be an issue. A recent poll found that the initiative needs a bit more support in order to win on Election Day 2016. Per Boston.Com:

According to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll Saturday, 43 percent of likely Bay State voters said they would support a likely ballot initiative to legalize the sale of marijuana to anyone more than 21 years old, while 45.8 percent said they would oppose the measure.

Eleven percent said they were undecided. With the 4.4-percentage-point margin of error, those supporters and opponents of the potential statewide November ballot question are in a virtual tie.

However, since the question was last polled, those numbers have shifted slightly toward opponents of legalization, a campaign led by Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

A poll from February found that 53% of respondents supported legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. A poll from just last month found a whopping 57% support. As such, I’d take the recent poll results with a grain of salt. As you can see the poll results are all over the map. If there’s one takeaway from the poll results, I think it should be that there is a lot of work still to be done in Massachusetts to win the hearts and minds of voters. The opposition is obviously doing anything and everything that they can to prevent legalization from happening, and supporters should be doing the same. If you are in Massachusetts, arm yourself with solid information and spread the word. Fight reefer madness with the facts!


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Johnny Green


  1. Richard McDonough on

    I must be blind but I can not find The ORGANIZATION in MA collecting signatures on the petition. If you know of any initiative petition organizations, please post their contact info at initiativepetitionsmassachusetts.com That is what these site are for. ANY PETITIONS for the state.

  2. Craig Slist on

    Seems like an aberration to me, to be honest. If this poll is to be believed, then between April 10th and May 5th, support for legalization took a nosedive from 57% to 43% (A 14% drop!) and opposition skyrocketed from 35% to 46% (An 11% increase!)

    I, too, have my doubts about this poll.

  3. I would like to know more about the initiative. I can’t imagine Massachusetts opposing legalization, unless it bears resemblance to the proposal that Ohio recently rejected.

  4. You are correct. As for the specifics of this poll, they only asked 500 “likely” voters, not registered voters, and what’s most odd about the poll is that 8% of respondents were only “somewhat” likely to be voting, and many of their respondents (18%) didn’t know the governor’s political affiliation. But the weird thing about the poll? Respondents are divided up loosely by regions of Massachusetts. It makes me suspect they only called landline phones because the area codes in Massachusetts are divided up by similar regions. It’s very weird. They polled Suffolk (617/857), Worcester/West (774/413), Northeast (978/351), and Southeast/Cape (508). That’s a very strange way to group a sample of the population of Massachusetts when you look at a map of population density. Boston should be its own region, not halved by Suffolk County.

    Suffolk is basically South Boston, home to 722,023 people (11% of the state). They only called 47 people from Suffolk (9% of their polling sample) which isn’t surprising if they didn’t call mobile phones. But they did manage to call 118 people from Worcester/West. Not a huge difference between South Boston and Worcester in terms of population, but Worcester gets more than twice as many people in the poll? Very fishy. IMHO, it appears as if they didn’t call mobile phones, and thus avoided polling the greater Boston area or any other major city, which biased the results. I just don’t understand how they came up with this particular geographic spread unless they were going by landline area codes.

    Plus, the results of other questions on this poll vary wildly from other polls with the same questions, so it’s not just recreational cannabis that’s much, much different than other results. A poll last month showed 73% support for lifting the cap on charter schools, but this poll only shows 49%. A poll last month showed Bernie leading Clinton 63% to 46% in terms of how favorable they are, while this poll has Bernie ahead by only 55% to 47%. More alarming, the poll from April shows only 18% finding Donald Trump favorable, while THIS poll reports 29% finding him favorable. VERY FISHY.

  5. Apparently, I must remind you of Alaska, which is hardly the most “liberal” state in the country, and just happened to pass cannabis legalization in a midterm election. So you can hardly say it can’t pass “anywhere” if Alaska already passed their initiative. Oh, and by the way, I’m still waiting on an answer to why you keep up this oh-so obvious “shtick” here on TWB. As I said before, your routine is obvious and predictable.

  6. michael_ellis on

    1. Monitor articles and opinion pieces about marijuana in MA media. When you see false claims, post polite, articulate and factual refutations — preferably with links to peer-reviewed papers. See DrugWarFacts.org for useful links.
    2. If you have relatives or acquaintances who are on the fence — educate them.
    3. Contact the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign in MA and ask what sort of volunteer help they can use.
    4. If you have money to donate, do so. The high-ranking pols who oppose legalization get free coverage anytime they open their mouths. Our side has to pay to get the message out.

    Thanks for caring enough to get involved. Wish I still lived in MA so I could do more, personally.

  7. I don’t know what is going on but it smells fishy. I doubt this recent poll is accurate.

  8. downthelaw on

    Mass. wants to talk about their “drug epidemic” like they are the only state with a drug problem. Guess what, Co.and Washington did as well. But weed was never part of that problem and may even be a cure to the problem. There is a drug problem in this country today and it’s called the war on drugs.

  9. I thought you said Massachusetts had 57% support a few weeks ago? Now its only 43% in the most liberal state in the country! Whats going on? This is the same state that voted for decrim and medical with well over 60% of the vote (the biggest margin of anywhere). If legalization is losing in such a liberal state as Mass, it cant win anywhere. I need to see the methodology of that poll to find out who was sampled.

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