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SOCIETY

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 23, 2014

    A strong majority of Vermonters support regulating the commercial production and retail sales of marijuana for adults, according to a statewide Castleton Polling Institute survey commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

    Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they support “changing Vermont law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, so retailers would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?” Only 34 percent of those survey opposed the notion of legalization.

    The Castleton poll possesses a margin or error of +/- 4 percent.

    Within the past few months, separate statewide polls in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas have all shown majority support for legalizing the adult consumption of cannabis.

    Recent national polls by Gallup (58 percent), CNN (55 percent), CBS (51 percent), and NBC (55 percent) have also shown majority support for legalizing cannabis.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 12, 2014

    Nine out of ten Connecticut voters support legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and a majority support allowing adults to possess the plant for any purpose, according to the results of a statewide Quinnipiac University poll, released today.

    Fifty-two percent of voters support allowing adults “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Forty-five percent of respondents opposed the idea.

    Independents (61 percent), Democrats (52 percent), and men (54 percent) were most likely to endorse legalization, while women (49 percent) and Republicans (38 percent) were least supportive

    When asked whether patients ought to be able to access cannabis for medicinal purposes, public support rose to 90 percent. State lawmakers authorized physicians to recommend cannabis therapy in 2012. However, although some 2,000 Connecticut patients are now authorized to use medicinal cannabis, no state-licensed dispensaries are presently operational.

    According to the poll, 47 percent of Connecticut voters — including 62 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 — acknowledge having tried marijuana.

    By a margin of nearly 2 to 1, respondents said that alcohol is “more harmful to society” than cannabis.

    The poll’s findings are similar to those of recent statewide surveys, including those from Florida, Hawaii, and New York.

    Commenting on the poll, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “The most remarkable thing about these results is that they are no longer remarkable.”

    The Quinnipiac survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director May 9, 2014

    A new report released this week by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project reveals that marijuana arrests have actually increased in New York City under the new leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton.

    In March 2014, the NYPD performed more marijuana possession arrests than in any month in the last six months under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, March 2014 saw more arrests than in 10 of the 12 months in 2013 under the previous administration. The total number of arrests for first quarter of 2014 are higher than both the third and fourth quarters of 2013.

    These arrests also continue the disturbing trend of disproportionately falling on individuals of color. In Brooklyn, in predominately white Park Slope, police made just 7 marijuana possession arrests in the first three months of 2014. In Carroll Gardens and Red Hook they made 12 marijuana arrests in that same time frame. More affluent neighborhoods saw even fewer arrests. In Manhattan, Police only made two marijuana possession arrests in the Tribeca/Wall Street area, one arrest in the Upper East Side, and four arrests in the Upper West Side. The story is quite different in predominately black or latino neighborhoods, where the police made significantly more arrests. In Bedford-Stuyvesant 111 individuals were arrested, 130 in Crown Heights, and 438 in East New York from January to March of this year.

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    Despite similar use rates across racial groups, 86% of those arrested in the first quarter of 2014 were blacks and Latinos.

    Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College, City University of New York, and co-director of Marijuana Arrest Research Project said:

    “At 28,000 arrests a year, New York still makes more marijuana possession arrests than any city in the world. Yet the simple possession of marijuana has not been a crime in New York State since 1978. Isn’t it time for these unfair, biased, damaging, often illegal arrests to just stop, now?”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 5, 2014

    Nearly nine out of ten Floridians support legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and a majority support allowing adults to possess the plant for any purpose, according to the results of a statewide Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters.

    Fifty-three percent of voters support “allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Forty-two percent of respondents opposed the idea.

    When Florida voters were polled in 2013, only 48 percent of respondents backed legalizing the plant.

    Independents (61 percent), Democrats (59 percent), and men (58 percent) were most likely to endorse legalization, while women (48 percent) and Republicans (33 percent) were least supportive.

    When asked whether patients ought to be able to access cannabis for medicinal purposes, public support rose to 88 percent. This November, Florida voters will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to legalize and regulate the dispensing of cannabis to authorized patients. Because the measure seeks to amend the state constitution, 60 percent of voters must decide in favor of it before it may be enacted.

    According to the poll, 45 percent of Florida voters — including 62 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64 — acknowledge having tried cannabis.

    The survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 28, 2014

    Colorado voters do not have buyers’ remorse.

    The majority of Colorado voters believe that legalizing cannabis has been “good” for the state and 54 percent say they support the new laws regulating the plant’s retail production and sale, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    Fifty-five percent
    of voters approved Amendment 64 in November 2012, which allows for the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis by those age 21 and older. Separate provisions in the measure also allow for the state-licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Retail cannabis sales began on January 1 of this year.

    Other results released by the Quinnipiac University poll include:

    49 percent of voters admit they’ve tried marijuana, but only 15 percent admit using it since it became legal January 1;

    Driving has not become more dangerous because of legalized marijuana, voters say 54 – 39 percent;

    Legalized marijuana will save the state and taxpayers a significant amount of money, voters say 53 – 41 percent;

    Legalized marijuana will have a positive impact on the state’s criminal justice system, voters say 50 – 40 percent;

    Legalized marijuana “increases personal freedoms in a positive way,” voters say 53 – 44 percent;

    Legalized marijuana has not “eroded the moral fiber” of people in Colorado, voters say 67 – 30 percent.

    A strong majority of Democrats (69 percent) and Independents (56 percent), but not Republicans (28 percent) said that the passage of marijuana legalization has been good for the state.

    The Quinnipiac poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

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