According to new polling a majority of adults in Hawaii are in favor of passing a law that legalized recreational marijuana.
The poll, conducted by SMS Hawai’i, found that 52% of Hawaii residents who are adults support legalizing marijuana, with just 31% opposed. This leaves 17% undecided, although if all 17% decided to oppose legalization it would still maintain majority support.
“Reasons for support are varied, but tend to center on social and economic benefits, the belief that citizens should have the ability to choose what to do with their bodies, and the fact that cannabis is perceived to be safe, especially compared to prescription drugs”, states the authors of the poll. “Reasons for opposition are equally varied, but focus on the perception that society may be harmed, the belief that cannabis itself is harmful (and a potential gateway to other drugs), and insistence that cannabis will be abused if legalized”.
The poll continues: “Political candidates are unlikely to be affected by support for recreational cannabis legislation, especially if their districts are comprised of sociopolitical groups that are more inclined to support legalization. Thirty percent of residents indicated they would be more likely to support a candidate who supported legalizing adult recreational use, compared to 26 percent who would be less likely to support a candidate who espoused that same view. Nearly 40 percent of residents, however, indicated that a candidate’s view on legalization doesn’t make much of a difference in their vote.”
A majority of residents believe regulations are important. Ninety-three percent of residents stated an age limit was either very important or somewhat important, 83 percent indicated limits on quantity purchased and prohibitions of use in public places was important, and 81 percent thought it was important that cannabis products were taxed. Slightly less importance was attached to limits on dispensary locations (72%) and number of dispensaries (67%).
A lawmaker in Hawaii filed legislation last month to legalize marijuana.
“We all know, and Hawaii’s people know, that it is high time to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults in Hawaii. This year we stand on the precipice of history,” says State Representative Jeanné Kapela. “Following the recommendations of a task force devoted to addressing cannabis policy, we now have a roadmap for legalizing recreational cannabis in our islands.”