Boston, MA: Nearly three out of four Massachusetts voters support a statewide ballot initiative that seeks to decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis by persons age 18 or older, according to a Channel 7 News/Suffolk University poll of 400 registered voters.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they would vote "yes" on the November ballot measure, which would replace criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of no more than $100. Only 22 percent of respondents opposed the proposal.
Among respondents over 65 years of age, 70 percent said they backed decriminalization.
The strong poll numbers indicate that the measure "is all but certain" to pass in November, the poll's authors declared in a press release.
If voters approve the measure this fall, Massachusetts would be the first state to enact the decriminalization of marijuana since Nevada's legislature did so in 2001 and the first to do so by voter initiative.
Currently, twelve states have enacted versions of marijuana decriminalization -replacing criminal sanctions with fine-only penalties for minor pot violators.
Michigan voters will also decide on a separate statewide initiative this November that seeks to legalize the medical use of cannabis for qualified patients. If enacted, Michigan will become the thirteenth state since 1996 to authorize the legal use of medical cannabis, and the ninth state to do so by voter initiative.