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New poll: Mass. residents still down with legalization

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Pretty good, it turns out. At least, according to a poll funded by former Question 4 campaigners Jim Borghesani and Will Luzier. They say their data show that a greater share of Massachusetts residents — 56 percent — now supports legalization than in 2016. Meanwhile, just 25 percent oppose legalization today.

“People are seeing that legality is not coming with all the problems that were predicted by the people who opposed it,” Borghesani said. “They’re not fearing it as much as they once did.”

Interestingly, the poll found a majority of residents, 55 percent, are in favor of the state allowing licensed social consumption venues, or pot-cafes, with only 28 percent disagreeing. Asked if they’d be comfortable with a marijuana cafe in their community, 51 percent said yes; 36 percent said no. About half of people polled agreed that pot bars would pose no greater danger than booze bars.

That will give the Cannabis Control Commission something to chew on when it considers later this year whether to allow such businesses.

Now, we’re all about context here at TWIW, so it’s important to note the limitations of the telephone poll. For one thing, it was funded by advocates with a clear agenda. It also had a small sample size of just 294 people, and 5.7 percent margin of error. Borghesani insisted the poll was conducted by a reputable research firm, the Bernett Group, and used a valid, representative sample.

To some observers though, the poll was not particularly trustworthy.

“It’s a really low sample size,” said Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “It’s a poll initiated by an advocate for the industry and designed to push or emphasize or underscore the points that they want to. … It’s not informative to the general public policy process.”

I don’t think the poll is utterly worthless, but it’s certainly worth taking with a grain of salt.

The survey also found:

— A wide divide among those with differing politics over whether they believed that black and Hispanic communities were disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs: 81 percent of liberals agreed, while a mere 39 percent of moderates and 26 percent of conservatives agreed.

— 64 percent would consider using medical marijuana to treat a symptom or illness, while 27 percent would not.

— 42 percent said local bans on legal marijuana sales will keep drug dealers in business, while 34 percent disagreed. Similarly, 42 percent agreed that it’s justifiable for local officials to ban legal marijuana businesses; 42 percent disagreed.

— 44 percent said the CCC should prevent towns from demanding more than 6 percent of gross sales from marijuana retail businesses; 24 percent disagreed.

— 32 percent said marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs such as opioids and heroin; 55 percent disagreed.

— 30 percent said the CCC is moving “at an acceptable pace” in licensing marijuana businesses; 30 percent disagreed.

— 55 percent said that marijuana intoxication affects driving skills in the same way that alcohol does; 21 percent disagreed.

It’s been two years since nearly 54 percent of Massachusetts voters said “yes” to legalized cannabis. But how are people feeling about the whole thing these days?

About two-thirds of people feel Mass. marijuana legalization was a success, according to new poll

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Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.

People who live in states that have legalized marijuana for adult use broadly feel that the policy has been a success, according to a new poll.

A majority of people from eight states that were surveyed said the programs are working well. And in Maine, which legalized cannabis in 2016 but still doesn’t have any adult-use retail shops open, people still said the law is more of a success than a failure by a greater than two-to-one plurality.

YouGov asked more than 32,000 people the following question: “In the states that have decided to allow recreational marijuana use, do you think the legislation has been a success or a failure?”

They were given five options: “Success only, more of a success than a failure, more of a failure than a success, failure only or don’t know.”

Here’s a breakdown of what percentage of people in states with legal adult-use marijuana said the policy has been a success:

Colorado: 71 percent

Oregon: 69 percent

Massachusetts: 67 percent

Washington: 65 percent

Nevada: 64 percent

California: 59 percent

Illinois: 59 percent

Michigan: 56 percent

Maine: 47 percent

In Colorado, which was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana when it did so in 2012, about a quarter of respondents (26 percent) said the system has been a success only, whereas 45 percent said it was more of a success than failure.

The survey was conducted from April 17 to 20. The research firm said that it did not get a reportable state-level sample size for Alaska or Vermont, which have also enacted legalization laws, so they were not included in the new analysis.

YouGov has been behind a series of cannabis-related surveys in recent weeks. Last month, it found that a majority of Americans overall feel legalization is successful. Most Americans also believe medical cannabis dispensaries should remain open as essential services during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll the firm released in March.

People who live in states that have legalized marijuana for adult use broadly feel that the policy has been a success, according to a new poll.