A Massachusetts initiative that would decriminalize marijuana possession looks set to win in November, if polling numbers from this month are any indication. According to a 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll, the initiative now has the approval of 72% of voters. Only 22% of respondents said they opposed the decrim measure, while 6% had no opinion.
The initiative, sponsored by the Committee for Responsible Marijuana Policy, would replace current criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a civil penalty of forfeiture of the marijuana and a $100 fine.
It looks like the Massachusetts public is on board with decrim, said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University. "This issue suggests that there is a libertarian streak in the thinking of Massachusetts voters," he said.
The decrim initiative, known as Question #2 on the November ballot, is the only one of three initiatives garnering majority support, according to the poll. An initiative that would reduce and ultimately eliminate the state income tax was trailing 50% to 36%, while an initiative that would bar dog racing that entailed wagering was hovering at the half-way mark, with 50% approval and 37% and opposed.
Massachusetts voters may be uncertain about dog racing and opposed to messing with the state tax system, but they seem clear about the need to decriminalize marijuana possession. If they pass the initiative, Massachusetts will become the 13th decrim state and the first since Nevada in 2001.