63.4 percent of respondents favour ending ban on adult-use marijuana.
If a global pandemic doesn’t make drugs more appealing, nothing will.
A solid majority of Connecticut residents are ready for the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to a new poll, which found that even those in opposition noted they could be persuaded to accept its use given the right circumstances.
The survey, which revealed that 63.4 percent of respondents supported an end to the ban on adult-use marijuana. Of that percentage, 34.4 percent strongly supported the effort, 29 percent somewhat supported it, while 19 percent and 10 percent strongly or somewhat opposed, respectively, according to Marijuana Moment.
Connecticut lawmakers are currently considering legalization legislation that was introduced last month and has the support of Democratic state governor Ned Lamont.
The bill, which includes social equity provisions to help those harmed by the war on drugs as well as measures to direct revenue from cannabis sales to participating municipalities, was supported by 45.3 percent of respondents. Less than half of the 1,000 residents surveyed by the Hartford Courant and Sacred Heart University were initially aware of the social equity provisions, but a majority were in favour after it was explained to them.
“This legislation proposes to automatically erase criminal records for specific misdemeanor crimes and decriminalized felony offences seven years after the person’s most recent conviction,” the survey explained. “Such offences include possession of less than four ounces of marijuana before Oct. 1, 2015, third-degree criminal trespassing and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended licence,” it noted.
The poll provided some interesting insights among non-supporters, finding that of the 30 percent opposed to regulating and taxing the drug, 24 percent would change their stance if the move led to a drop in crime in the state. Regulating the drug in a similar way to alcohol and using revenues to tackle the budget deficit swayed others to support the measure.
Those in opposition cited fears of legalization leading to heavier drugs, increased danger from impaired drivers and simply being against using drugs as the reasons for their stance.
“Support for legalization of recreational marijuana and the proposed ‘clean slate’ laws seems to be strong,” Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy at Sacred Heart University, said in a release. “These are interesting and challenging times, and while we all are now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s also important to see how residents are feeling,” DeNardis said.
With the state capitol closed until Mar. 30, any further developments will have to wait.
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Written by David Yasvinski