According to two new polls released this week, recreational cannabis legalization initiatives in both Maine and Massachusetts are likely to pass this November.
Should either state’s voters pass their measures, they would be the first on the East Coast to allow the sale of recreational cannabis.
Of the two states, Maine has the strongest numbers favoring recreational legalization. The Portland Press Herald in association with the University of New Hampshire released a poll this week of 505 likely Maine voters and found that a majority of respondents, 53 percent, favor the passage of Question 1. Only 38 percent of respondents oppose the measure, with 10 percent undecided. The margin of error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
If this poll is accurate, Maine appears to be a lock to pass recreational cannabis in 2016 with a simple majority.
But the real surprise is Massachusetts. In a poll conducted of 700 likely voters by CBS affiliate WBZ and the University of Massachusetts, 53 percent of likely Bay State voters plan to vote yes on their cannabis-legalization measure, Question 4.
Massachusetts residents are less undecided about how they’ll vote in November than their counterparts in Maine, with 40 percent of respondents opposed to the bill and only 7 percent of likely voters yet to make up their minds. Like Maine, Massachusetts requires a simple majority of voters to pass their measure.
The margin of error for all respondents in the Massachusetts poll is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
Polling for the Bay State up until this point has been very tight, but this latest poll is encouraging for recreational pot proponents. However, Bay State voters may bristle at what passage of the bill means in practice. The poll shows that 41 percent of voters are uncomfortable with a pot store in their neighborhood, and 61 percent are alarmed at the possibility of public use.
With these new polls out of Maine and Massachusetts, it’s clear that recreational pot may soon be a short drive away for New Englanders in the near future.