Polls are far from reliable, but they are the best glimpse into an initiative’s chances come election day. Massachusetts activists gathered enough signatures to put marijuana legalization before the Massachusetts Legislature. The Legislature failed to act on the initiative, and now activists need to gather a little over 10k more signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. I’m not from Massachusetts, so I don’t know what the ‘ground game’ is like there, but I have to assume gathering the remaining signatures shouldn’t be an issue. A recent poll found that the initiative needs a bit more support in order to win on Election Day 2016. Per Boston.Com:
According to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll Saturday, 43 percent of likely Bay State voters said they would support a likely ballot initiative to legalize the sale of marijuana to anyone more than 21 years old, while 45.8 percent said they would oppose the measure.
Eleven percent said they were undecided. With the 4.4-percentage-point margin of error, those supporters and opponents of the potential statewide November ballot question are in a virtual tie.
However, since the question was last polled, those numbers have shifted slightly toward opponents of legalization, a campaign led by Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
A poll from February found that 53% of respondents supported legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. A poll from just last month found a whopping 57% support. As such, I’d take the recent poll results with a grain of salt. As you can see the poll results are all over the map. If there’s one takeaway from the poll results, I think it should be that there is a lot of work still to be done in Massachusetts to win the hearts and minds of voters. The opposition is obviously doing anything and everything that they can to prevent legalization from happening, and supporters should be doing the same. If you are in Massachusetts, arm yourself with solid information and spread the word. Fight reefer madness with the facts!