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Poll: Majority of Swing State Voters Support Legalization

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 6, 2015

    Poll: Majority of Swing State Voters Support LegalizationThe majority of voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania support permitting adults to possess marijuana legally, and super-majorities in all three states endorse allowing doctors to recommend cannabis therapy, according to survey data published today by Quinnipiac University.

    Fifty-five percent of Florida voters say that they support allowing adults “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” (Forty-two percent oppose the idea.) In Ohio, voters back legalization by a margin of 52 percent to 44 percent. In Pennsylvania, 51 percent of voters favor legalizing marijuana versus 45 percent who oppose doing so.

    Voters sentiment in favor of legalizing the plant’s availability for therapeutic purposes is even stronger. Pollsters reported that voters in all three states back medical marijuana legalization by margins of five to one: 84 percent to 14 percent in Florida, 84 percent to 15 percent in Ohio, and 88 percent to 10 percent in Pennsylvania.

    Legislation seeking to regulate the plant’s use and retail sale is pending in both Florida and Pennsylvania, though to date, lawmakers have yet to hold hearings on either bill. Legislation to permit regulatory access to medical cannabis is also pending in both states.

    12 Responses to “Poll: Majority of Swing State Voters Support Legalization”

    1. angel says:

      I am sage knowing I’m not permanently risking my health. Instead, using a medicinal herb to ease my pain suffering with several disabilities.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      Good news, just in case an election may happen next year.

    3. William Levy says:

      Good information. I wanted that medical cannabis be legalized in every country. Nice step.

    4. TheOracle says:

      We can thank the Progressive Era for the ballot initiative, despite grumblings that it also gave us the League of Nations, the precursor to the U.N. which is the major obstacle to legalization in the form of international prohibitionist treaties.

      I’m hoping Judge Mueller’s decision will help nudge things a bit closer to the legalization end of the cannabis continuum.

      Same goes for this new CNN series on cannabis that is supposed to start April 10th, I think.

      I read the rather depressing article about how cannabis banking is continuing to be put off. The article was in The Cannabist.

      The numbers for legalization in Pennsylvania look promising, but they don’t have the ballot initiative. A referendum can be put to the voters, but it has to be put there by the legislature, which is largely prohibitionist Republicans who are masters at ignoring the positive poll statistics when it comes to anything cannabis, medical or whatever. Pennsylvania prohibitionist politicians need to be shamed into legalizing for medical purposes, exposed as enforcers of the new Jim Crow. We have far too few politicians like Leach and Folmer when it comes to cannabis. Folmer, as I recall, was previously wishy-washy on legalizing, and then he was diagnosed with cancer, and then, hey man, it’s always different when it’s you, you know. He came around, and now is a leading proponent to legalize medical marijuana without all the prohibitionist restrictions.

      There somehow has to be a way to get the prohibitionists to change their minds without them having to be diagnosed with cancer in order to have that it’s always different when it’s you change of heart. Wheel the kids and wheelchair bound adults into their offices for the press to be there to document the politicians’ uncompassionate indifference? Go get ’em, Jon! Write that article, and expose them for the Jim Crow uncompassionate prohibitionists they are!

    5. Jack says:

      Ohio has a good chance at legalizing in 2015.

      Some people dont like how the grow sites would be limited to 10 people. But the bill would also allow anyone 21 and older to grow their own, something that not even people in Washington State are allowed to do. Who cares if there are only a limited amount of shops? You are allowed to grow your own. You are allowed to gift some to your friends.

      Please take the priority of legalizing NOW rather than waiting for other groups to succeed. Yes, there are other groups which have introduced bills to legalize in Ohio. But they have done this before and each time they are not able to get enough funding and therefore no where near enough signatures to get on the ballot.

      Ohio has the poll numbers. If we legalize in 2015 it will be a HUGE help to all those states hoping to do so in 2016 and beyond. All of our border states are not friendly to marijuana, Ohio can help lead the way instead of waiting years more to join.

    6. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      Well full legalization he in PA is going to be awhile, as the politicians seem to want to peruse SB3 too much. I am hoping that Tom Wolf gets his hands on the bill. I am also hoping he’ll pass it. The problem is, I can not seem to get through to his people, to even reply.

      I’d like to start a petition on change.org But I don’t seem to know how to do it.
      I ask pretty please, anyone from Pennsylvania reading this, try to help press the legalization bill they started. Try not to let it die. We’re not criminals, we’re just people who like getting high.

    7. James says:

      How does one join the voting groups that are spoken about in the posts?

    8. Julian says:

      @Oracle
      Anticipating Judge Mueller’s decision while reading an article like this is a high of its own. But it sure is nice to contemplate the outcome with a bud of trainwreck… Especially while Contemplating the trainwreck the GOP is in with Oklahoma and Nebraska’s Federal lawsuit pending against Colorado while Mueller’s verdict is announced next week is some of the best live action comedy I’ve ever seen.
      If any of the U.S. Attorneys in Northern California are reading this:
      Soooo your government witness was so eager to sell some Marinol that he admitted that marijuana was medicine on the stand?… … :-! … :-/ … :-)…
      :-0
      BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAHhhhhh… Oooohh that’s good… That’s genious…(wiping away tears if joy)

      …This deserves are own Marijuana-Moment-BUD commercial… Brought to you by…
      HUBRIS…
      Bringing prohibitionists the ability to confidently contradict the basis of their own law suit…
      Thank you HUBRIS.
      (Deep voiced Narrarator); & Today we salute YOU… Mr. So-Eager-to-Sell-Marinol-You-Forgot-You-Were-Under-Oath-When-You-Admitted-Marijuana-Was-Medicine-Guy!
      Back up singer: “But Marinol is BeTTEEERR!!”
      Narrator: You possessed the option to just RESPOND “no” to the simple question, “IS MARIJUANA MEDICINE?” But you Said “Oooooohooo Nooo… Not on MY watch… I’m gonna say ‘yeah… but marinol is better!'”
      Back up Singer: “I’m on it RIGHT now!!!”

      So here’s to YOU, Mr.So-Eager-to-Sell-Marinol-You-Forgot-You-Were-Under-Oath-When-You-Admitted-Marijuana-Was-Medicine-Guy!
      Because without you, thousands of followers of the Case of the U .S. v. Picard would have little else to laugh at.

      This Marijuana-Moment-Bud-Commercial
      Brought to you by the HUBRIS of Prohibition and your friends at NORML :-)

    9. TheOracle says:

      Folks, this just in today, April 8, 2015 from Pennsylvania, long story short, IF they legalize MMJ in Pennsylvania, it will be just about as prohibitionist as you can get. There is mention in the article about using New York state’s or Vermont’s MMJ program as a model. NY, are you effing kidding me!? Vermont has such a small population, comparatively, that with such restrictions and so few MMJ shops, you know, lack of accessibility to those would in California or Colorado or elsewhere would qualify simply won’t. And they’ll restrict the delivery methods so you can’t vape or smoke it, and exclude so many ailments that most patients will still have to get it off the street. Livid!

      Medical marijuana should be strictly regulated, law enforcement officials say

      Medical marijuana hearing
      The medical marijuana legalization debate brought a capacity crowd to a Pennsylvania House hearing room Wednesday. (Wallace McKelvey)

      Wallace McKelvey | WMckelvey@pennlive.com By on April 08, 2015 at 12:54 PM, updated April 08, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      Caution was the watchword for virtually all of the law enforcement officials who appeared before a hearing Wednesday on medical marijuana.

      Last year, a bill that would’ve legalized the use of cannabis for certain medical conditions passed the state Senate only to die in the House without a vote. Advocates have ramped up their efforts again under a supportive Wolf administration and widespread public support.

      Those legalization efforts will again face their most difficult hurdle in the state House of Representatives, whose health and judiciary committees held Wednesday’s hearing.

      “If this is something you choose to pursue, we would hope that it would be done with extensive and robust regulation so we don’t create any additional public safety or law enforcement problems in our community,” said Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County’s district attorney and vice president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

      Ferman said the association has not taken a position on medical marijuana, but does advocate for a comprehensive regulatory system that would follow the product from its cultivation to its use by patients.

      “If we pass a law without having the system in place . . . I think we’ll have a problem,” she said, pointing to New York and Vermont as two states with systems that Pennsylvania could emulate.

      •LISTEN: Hear a recent interview with medical marijuana advocate Dana Ulrich via PennLive’s Keystone Q&A podcast on iTunes or by streaming it at the bottom of this article or on SoundCloud.

      Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler took a stronger stance against medical marijuana. The heart-wrenching anecdotal stories should not be the only evidence considered, he said.

      “Before you commit the commonwealth to this potential ill in our midst and before I have to figure out if the next auto fatality was caused by someone driving high on marijuana . . . I’d urge you to be very careful and evaluative in your choices,” he said.

      Deb Beck, president of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization, said the Legislature must bolster drug treatment and education programs if they expand access to marijuana because a percentage, about 8 percent, of new users will become addicted.

      If we pass a law without having the system in place . . . I think we’ll have a problem.” Risa Vetri Ferman

      Jim Walsh, legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, said everyone must keep in mind that marijuana would still be an illegal drug under federal law.

      In order to avoid abuse, he said, any bill must avoid loopholes such as language that provides a list of allowed conditions and “anything else” a doctor decides to treat marijuana with.

      “This should not be at the sole discretion of a single doctor.”

      Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, said there has already been scientific research demonstrating cannabis’ effectiveness. Regan has himself seen the impact of the General Assembly’s lengthy medical marijuana debate.

      “My father-in-law recently passed away from lymphoma,” he said. “He was forced to go out, sick as a dog, looking for relief and that’s unfair.”

      At one point, Regan asked Ferman if she would enforce the state’s marijuana laws in cases where it was being used to treat an illness like seizures.

      Risa Vetri Ferman

      Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman

      Provided photo/Don Raymond of RNR, Inc.

      “I think that if there’s some kind of medicine that can help someone, it ought to be available and we should do everything that we can to make it available,” she replied. “I can tell you I would not prosecute such a case.”

      But Ferman stressed that her assessment does not reflect the state District Attorneys Association.

      Despite his skepticism about the merits of legalizing medical marijuana, Heckler said law enforcement agencies already exercise a great deal of discretion.

      “If (the patient) lives in Bucks County, the odds of us prosecuting them are pretty slim,” he said. “The DAs and the police have been using common sense for some time.”

      http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/medical_marijuana_enforcement.html

    10. Dave Evans says:

      Julian, that was funny, man!

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