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SOCIETY

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 26, 2015

    Fifty-five percent of likely California voters believe that “the use of marijuana should be legal,” according to the results of a statewide PPIC poll released yesterday.

    The percentage in favor of legalization is the highest level of support ever recorded in the statewide poll.

    African Americans (69 percent), Whites (64 percent), Democrats (63 percent), and Independents (57 percent) were most likely to express support for legalizing the plant’s use while Republicans (44 percent), Latinos (42 percent), and Asians (39 percent) were most likely to oppose the policy change.

    Among those respondents who acknowledges having tried cannabis, 74 percent supported legalization. Among respondents who had never tried cannabis, 63 percent favored keeping it illegal.

    The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent.

    California is one of several states in 2016 where the issue of regulating marijuana is expected to be decided by ballot measure. The issue is also anticipated to be before voters next November in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Nevada.

    In 2010, California voters rejected a ballot initiative that sought to permit the personal cultivation and commercial sale of cannabis by a vote of 46.5 percent to 53.5 percent.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 18, 2015

    Nevada: Voters To Decide In 2016 On Statewide Measure Regulating Marijuana SalesNevada voters will decide next November on ballot language that seeks to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Lawmakers had until late last week to act on the initiative petition, filed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), but failed to do so – thus placing the measure on the 2016 electoral ballot.

    Proponents of the measure, “The Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana,” turned in over 200,000 signatures from registered Nevada voters in December to qualify it for the ballot.

    The ballot language permits adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or six plants) for non-commercial purposes. The measure also regulates and taxes the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis.

    It states, “The People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other businesses.”

    Similar ballot measures are likely to be decided in 2016 in several other states, including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Missouri.

    For more information on this campaign, please visit: http://www.regulatemarijuanainnevada.org/.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 11, 2015

    More than six out of ten Connecticut voters favor legalizing marijuana use by adults, according to statewide polling conducted by Quinnipiac University.

    Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they favored permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis. Only 34 percent of voters opposed this idea.

    Legislation, House Bill 6703, is presently pending in the state, “to allow marijuana use for persons twenty-one years of age and older, and to regulate the sale, possession, use and growth of marijuana.” Connecticut residents can contact their lawmakers in support of this measure here.

    State voters, by an overwhelming 82 percent to 15 percent margin, also support eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for offenses involving the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, and allowing judges to decide sentences on a case by case basis.

    The Quinnipiac University poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 4, 2015

    General Social Survey: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal The majority of Americans say that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data provided by the General Social Survey. The GSS is a bi-annual scientific survey that collects data on social trends within the United States.

    Fifty-two percent of respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana – an increase of nine percentage points since GSS pollsters asked the question in 2012. Forty-two percent of respondents said that they opposed the idea.

    GSS pollsters have been tracking Americans’ views regarding marijuana legalization since the early 1970s. In 1990, only 16 percent of respondents backed legalizing the plant. The just-reported 2014 survey data marks the first time that the General Social Survey has ever reported majority support for legalizing cannabis.

    Separate national surveys by both Gallup and the Pew Research Center, among others, have previously documented that most Americans now favor legalizing the plant.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 2, 2015

    Jamaica: Ganja Decriminalization Plan Finally Approved By ParliamentMembers of Jamaica’s Parliament have given final approval to a long-standing plan to amend the nation’s marijuana policies.

    The newly passed measure amends the island’s Dangerous Drugs Act so that the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis by an adult is reclassified as a non-criminal offense. Violators of the new law will receive a ticket and be mandated to pay a fine, but will not face criminal penalties. Public use of the substance will remain prohibited.

    Separate provisions of the measure seek to establish regulations allowing for the licensed production of cannabis for therapeutic purposes as well as for industrial purposes. Additional provisions of the bill provide broader legal protections for those who use the plant for sacramental purposes.

    Although various Jamaican commissions had previously recommended similar changes in policy for well over a decade, lawmakers had until now consistently failed to move forward with any legislation seeking to depenalize the plant’s possession or production.

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