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  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 2, 2016

    cannabis_pillsA super-majority of Florida voters say that they will vote ‘yes’ on a proposed constitutional amendment this November that seeks to permit the physician-authorized use and distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    According to Public Policy Polling data provided this week, 65 percent of voters endorse the medical marijuana legalization measure and only 28 percent oppose it.

    Seventy five percent of Democrats back the measure, as do 70 percent of Independents. Among Republicans, 53 percent of respondents say that they will vote ‘yes’ in November.

    According to Florida law, 60 percent of voters must approve a constitutional amendment in order for it to become law. In November 2014, Floridians narrowly rejected a similar amendment, which received 58 percent of the vote.

    The 2016 ballot measure, entitled the “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions,” will appear before voters as Amendment 2. Passage of the amendment would permit qualified patients to possess and obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities.

    A 2014 Florida law that sought to provide low-THC varieties of cannabis to patients with pediatric epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, or cancer with cannabis access is not yet operational. Separate legislation is presently pending on the House and Senate floor that seeks to permit any patient with a terminal illness the legal right to use medical marijuana.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 25, 2016

    legalization_pollA majority of likely California voters say that they intend to vote ‘yes’ this November for an initiative to regulate the retail production and sale of marijuana by adults, according to the results of a Probolsky Research poll released today.

    Sixty percent of respondents say that they will vote in favor of an initiative this November “that would legalize marijuana for recreational use under California law and allow government to tax” its retail sales. Thirty-seven percent said that they would vote ‘no.’

    Support was strongest among those between the ages of 18 to 34 (80 percent) and self-identified Democrats (69 percent). Republicans (38 percent) and those over the age of 65 (46 percent) were least likely to express support.

    The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which is expected to appear on the November ballot, permits adults to legally grow (up to six plants) and possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrate) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possession and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. Both the California Medical Association and the state chapter of the NAACP have endorsed the measure.

    On February 20, a majority of the NORML Board of Directors endorsed the AUMA, along with separate initiatives that are anticipated to appear on the November 2016 ballot in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Arizona, as well as medical use initiatives expected to appear on the ballot in Missouri and Florida.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 28, 2016

    ballot_box_leafMore than three out of five New Mexicans believe that state law ought to be amended to permit retails sales of marijuana to adults, according to statewide polling data provided by Research & Polling Inc. and commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

    Sixty-one percent of respondents said that they supported legislation to regulate and tax retail sales of marijuana to those age 21 and over. Respondents’ support rose to 69 percent when pollsters indicated that sales taxes would be used to fund health-related programs.

    Majority support for regulating the adult use of cannabis have previously been reported in a number of other state and national surveys.

    Legislation to allow for the retail sale and adult use of cannabis, House Bill 75 and Senate Joint Resolution 5, is presently pending in the New Mexico legislature. Similar legislation is pending in over a dozen other states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Vermont.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 21, 2016

    legalization_pollA majority of registered Maryland voters believe that cannabis use should be legally regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, according to statewide polling data provided by Gonzalez Research & Marketing Strategies and commission by the Marijuana Policy Project.

    Fifty-three percent of respondents said that they favor a change in state law “to allow marijuana to be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol, for legal use by adults 21 years of age and older.” Forty-three percent of those surveyed opposed legalization.

    Similar levels of support for regulating the adult use of cannabis have previously been reported in a number of other state and national surveys.

    In 2014, former Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation into law decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses involving ten grams or less. Earlier today, lawmakers overrode a 2015 veto to enact legislation decriminalizing the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 21, 2015

    Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data released today by Gallup.

    The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, and is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s.

    Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely to favor legalizing cannabis, while Republicans and Americans over the age of 65 are least likely to do so. Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana.

    Gallup Poll: Americans' Views on Legalizing Marijuana

    “Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is the highest Gallup has measured to date, at 58 percent,” pollsters concluded. “Given the patterns of support by age, that percentage should continue to grow in the future. Younger generations of Americans have been increasingly likely to favor legal use of marijuana as they entered adulthood compared with older generations of Americans when they were the same age decades ago. … Now senior citizens are alone among age groups in opposing pot legalization.

    “These trends suggest that state and local governments may come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions on marijuana use, if not go even further like the states of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use completely legal.”

    The 2015 Gallup poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

    Commenting on the latest polling data, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Supporting the status quo — the notion that marijuana and those adults who consume it responsibly ought to be criminalized — is now a fringe position in America. These results ought to embolden campaigning politicians, as well as elected officials, to take a more pronounced stance in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis in a manner that is consistent with the desires of the majority of their constituents.”

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