Massachusetts Looks to Turn Over New Leaf on Pot
Massachusetts Looks to Turn Over New Leaf on Pot August 14, 2008
O’Ryan Johnson Boston Herald
An overwhelming number of Bay Staters replying to a Suffolk University/WHDH Ch. 7 poll say the state’s marijuana laws should go up in smoke.
The poll regarding questions set to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot shows that 72 percent of Greater Boston residents favor snuffing out criminal penalties for suspects carrying less than an ounce of pot, and replacing them with civil fines. Under the measure, a person stopped with marijuana would be given a $100 ticket and forced to forfeit the drug
"The public may be signaling that pursuing small-time marijuana users is a waste of taxpayer resources," said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Bureau at Suffolk University. "This issue suggests there is a libertarian streak in the thinking of the Massachusetts voter."
The poll also found lingering resentment toward former Gov. Mitt Romney. State residents would reject likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain more heartily if he chose his former rival Romney as his running mate. The poll shows that 41 percent would be less likely to vote for a McCain/Romney ticket, while 24 percent were unswayed.
Bay Staters were also icy toward a ballot measure aimed at abolishing the income tax, with 50 percent opposed to eliminating income tax, and 15 percent undecided.
The pollsters gathered the data from 400 state residents who were contacted between July 31 and Aug. 3.