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Marijuana News Roundup: Support Fading in Massachusetts for Recreational Pot Measure

Paul Ausick

With the number of days until the polls open now into the single digits, we want to keep an eye on the latest polling in the nine states where either recreational or medical marijuana measures are on the ballot. Even at this late date, there is plenty happening.

For instance, in Arkansas, where two measures (Issue 6 and Issue 7) were on the ballot, the state Supreme Court ruled last week that Issue 7 did not have enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot. Issue 6, which amends the state’s constitution to make medical marijuana legal, does not permit the state legislature to make medical cannabis illegal again without voter approval. Issue 7 would have allowed such legislative action with a two-thirds majority.

New polling in California has increased the proportion of voters who say they support Prop 64. In Massachusetts the proportion of supporters has dropped from 55% to below 50%. In Nevada, more undecided voters moved into the “opposed” column, and there were no new polls in Arizona or Maine.

Here’s a list of the latest polling numbers in the five states where voters will decide whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use, based on report from Ballotpedia.

  • Arizona (Proposition 205): 50.4% in favor; 41.6% opposed; 8% undecided
  • California (Proposition 64): 55% in favor; 38% opposed; 6% undecided
  • Maine (Question 1): 53% in favor; 38% opposed; 10% undecided
  • Massachusetts (Question 4): 48.8% in favor; 42.4% opposed; 7.8% undecided
  • Nevada (Question 2): 47% in favor; 43% opposed; 11% undecided

In states considering medical marijuana measures, a majority of Arkansas voters (58%) said they supported medical marijuana in the state, less than half support Issue 6. Half oppose the measure and 5% are undecided.

In Florida, there was a slight dip in support last week for Amendment 2 making medical marijuana legal in the state. Because this is a constitutional amendment, 60% of voters must approve the measure.

In Montana, medical marijuana was legalized in 2011, but the state legislature passed strict dispensary laws that were upheld by the state supreme court earlier this year and have effectively put dispensaries out of business. There has been no new polling in Montana or North Dakota in the past week.

  • Arkansas (Issue 6): 45% in favor; 50% opposed; 5% undecided
  • Arkansas (Issue 7): withdrawn
  • Florida (Amendment 2): 74% in favor; 22% opposed; 4% undecided
  • Montana (I-182): 44% in favor; 51% oppose; 5% undecided
  • North Dakota (Measure 5): no polling

Archdiocese Gives $850,000 to Fight Marijuana Bid
The Boston Archdiocese is pouring $850,000 into a last-minute effort to defeat a state ballot measure to legalize marijuana, calling increased drug use a threat to the Catholic Church’s health and social-service programs.

The church’s contribution represents about a 50 percent increase over what the antimarijuana Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts has collected so far. The total, however, is still less than half of what has been raised by the referendum’s proponents.

The church’s donation will likely help fund an existing advertising campaign. Archdiocesan officials have also sent materials to parishes and schools arguing against the ballot question.

“It reflects the fact that the archdiocese holds the matter among its highest priorities,” archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said of the donation. “It’s a recognition that, if passed, the law would have significantly detrimental impacts on our parishes, our ministries.”

Read more at the Boston Globe.