Poll Results On Decriminalisation Of Marijuana

June 28, 2015

37.8% of voters support marijuana decriminalisation, 36.6% preferred legalisation with government regulation and 19.4% wanted current laws to remain the same, according to a recent poll released by Profiles of Bermuda.

In releasing the poll results the company said, “While the results are not statistically significant from last year, there is growing support for some kind of reform to the current marijuana laws.

“In the 2014 survey, 70.8% of voters wanted current laws to be changed. That figure has now risen to 79.3%. Nearly 4 in 10 voters [37.8%] now prefer decriminalisation compared to one-third of them [33.8%] in 2014.

“A similar amount preferred legalisation with government regulation [36.6% in 2015 compared to 33.1% in 2014]. And for those who wanted current laws to remain the same, that figure fell from 27.4% in 2014 to 19.4% in 2015.”

Screenshot of the poll results from Profiles of Bermuda

Fullscreen capture 6282015 81607 PM

Differences by Age

Profiles said, “Leading the charge for legalisation with government regulation were those between the ages of 18 and 34 with nearly half [48%] supporting the change. Those older were more inclined to support decriminalisation [40% for the 35-54 age group, and 37.3% for those 55 and over.]

Differences by Gender

“Males were more likely than females to favour legalisation with government regulation [41.7% compared to 33.2%]. Females were more likely to opt for decriminalisation [40.9% compared to 33.2% for males].

Differences by Income

“Households where occupants earned $100,000 or more tended to favour decriminalisation [43.9%]. Households earning less than $100,000 were more likely to favour legalisation.

“For those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, 42.9% preferred legalisation with government regulation, as did 34.7% of those earning less than $50,000.

Poll Notes

In explaining the poll, the company said, “Category totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The 2015 survey was conducted among 407 registered voters between 15 April 15 and 10 May 15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8%.

“Some 75% of respondents were obtained by landlines, 11% by cell phones and 14% via the internet. Data for all demographics were weighted to reflect the 2010 Census. There were no differences by race in this analysis.”

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  1. NO MORE WAR says:

    Who cares, if you can legalise same sex marriages (which will happen) you can certainly legalise marijuana.

    • thetruth says:

      I support legalization with government regulation. It should be a person’s choice if they want to grow or consume marijuana.

  2. Kangoocar says:

    I have never been contacted by those that conduct this particular poll and never expect too, but if I was, I certainly would say, never legalize weed, we have enough problems already in this island and we don’t need to add to it!!!!

    • Kangoocar says:

      Should have added, everyone that thinks easing laws about weed would be beneficial, should read up on what has happened in Colorado sinse they were stupid enough to listen to a bunch of weedos, the homeless situatuation has gotten worst?? Gee, brilliant move????

      • fed up says:

        They think they have problems now

      • Mike Hind says:

        Links?

        ‘cuz the reading up I’m doing on it shows tax revenues WAY up (www.colorado.gov Dec 2014), with a large amount of that money going to youth prevention programs focusing on marijuana and mental health, which, in just a year, already shows a drop in youth usage rates, a MASSIVE decrease in arrests, and a big drop in unemployment(AP Nov 21st, 2014).

        But I’m sure you’ve got your sources.

        • Zevon says:

          Actually, no. During the first year of legalization, up to Jan 2015, Colorado marijuana revenues were $53m. That’s way below ( about half) what was expected, despite the 28% sales tax added to marijuana in the state.

          Colorado population is 5.3m. If Bermuda’s population is about 60,000, and if we did the same thing and our results were in proportion to Colorado’s, we would raise about $0.4m in taxes in a year.

          In other words, the likely tax revenues are way over-stated by the pro-lobby. The revenues likely to be generated in Bermuda are insignificant. So let’s not pretend that’s a reason to do this. It isn’t.

        • Sara says:

          Isn’t that interesting, I must have read the same sources you did.

      • smh says:

        Who makes a silly comment without the facts to back it up?

      • Sara says:

        Care to provide any articles or any resources at all because I have never read any of those. I think you may be talking out your you know what AGAIN…

      • Think says:

        Colorado’s homeless-marijuana issue appears to be that US homeless are been moving to Colorado because it has legalized marijuana. The legalization isn’t causing more people to become homeless, but attracting homeless from other states. Bermuda would not have this issue because there are strict immigration laws and it would be difficult to relocate to Bermuda if you were homeless. However, there is the chance that Bermuda would attract more North American tourists.

        http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/12/24/colorado-homeless-moving-for-booming-pot-industry.html

        • Zevon says:

          Have you thought about why it attracts homeless people?

          And have you got one shred of evidence that it would attract tourists?

    • BenJammin says:

      Bermudians already have access to cannabis. Imported, dirty, mouldy, funded by gangs and international drug wars. But still cannabis. Legalization can stop more then Bermuda’s problems. Mexican gangs are losing money from legalization in the U.S.. Cannabis is clean and quality controlled. Profits go back into education and community infrastructure. Abusers can be better helped out of the shadows when they aren’t hiding in them. The lies and misinformation about cannabis causes much confusion. I recommend the documentary “The Culture High”. Or at least reading studies from reputable sources like Canada’s centre for mental health which called for legalization. Or National Geographic did some great info. Or Time magazine. The worst thing that can happen from using cannabis is getting caught. But that’s the legislations fault. Not the user’s. It is up to our ethical and moral duty to stop the assault on every day people. if a person uses cannabis but is otherwise a law abiding citizen; should that person be labelled a criminal and punished as such? If you don’t think so. Then hopefully we won’t be for much longer.

      • hmmm says:

        Tax: I read 40 million for 5.3million state population….

        put that in terms of Bermuda = 7.7 per capital brings us approx. 500,000.

        In order to generate any positive revenue streams into the public purse, we would have to regulate it for less than 500K.

        Of course, the same police resource would be used to crack down on illegal growers and distributors.

      • Bermy says:

        The Culture High was a great documentary (available on Netflix). It makes some really great points. It is hypocritical to live in a society that says alcohol, tobacco, and certain prescription drugs are OK but cannabis is not. The effects of all of those are way more harmful to the individual and society that weed. The only reason weed is illegal but you can buy tobacco or booze within spitting distance from anywhere in Hamilton is because there’s no money in it. Anyone can grow it.

        The US government has weed listed as a schedule I drug which means it has no medicinal benefits… completely untrue. More and more benefits are being discovered everyday about this plant. Cocaine and Heroine are Schedule II drugs, one less rank than weed.

        The internet has provided too much free easy access to information. Too many people are becoming informed and wise to the fact that marijuana prohibition is based on lies and propaganda which is supported by strong lobby groups (privatized prisons that need their populations kept full, DEA that needs to support its existence, alcohol companies that don’t want a new alternative, etc.). There’s no way that the U.S. doesn’t eventually follow Colorado and then Bermuda will follow. Let’s face it we’re not going to be leaders here.

      • Really? says:

        @ BenJammin

        Thanks for the heads up on the documentary, watching it now, good stuff.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I have had questions on the nature of these polls for a while, the first is how proportionate they have been to our population breakdown. The odds of the random nature of any polling to produce such an accurate breakdown naturally is highly improbable. Their statement “Data for all demographics were weighted to reflect the 2010 Census” seems to indicate that they actually ditch polled responses in order to produce this balance. Next, every poll they have released in the last couple months have all been exactly 407, which means they have been doing multiple polls, but but did a single polling with multiple questions… so the question is, why are they only staggering their releases, all of them seem to have been polled during the same period, can they not just release all the responses from that polling?

      • Hmmm says:

        Same poll, as all have had sames dates, same time period, same number of people.

    • Herb nah Weed says:

      Marijuana is not “weed”…
      WEED: a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.

      HERB: any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine, or perfume.

      You should probably also do some reading up on Colorado too. Its not as bad as you think.

      THE HEALING OF THE NATION.

    • Personally, I believe the dollar value should be taken out of drugs period! Now, will that ever become a reality? I somewhat doubt it yet I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed a lot of unbelievable Laws pass.
      As far as legalizing Ganja, Weed, Herb or Pot,(for them that don’t know, they’re all the same)I believe if drugs have no dollar value crime will drop tremendously as it has in other places around the world.
      Consumption don’t have to be blatant e.g. using / smoking out in public; it can be confined to private quarters and be acceptable. Of course, the “Law makers” may want to know how can the police detect someone driving / riding under the influence, but that too can be determined by the way the individual is operation said vehicle/s. Are they swerving all over the road, or did they hit a wall/fence on a straight road? Speeding will always remain just that, “speeding” therefore, increase penalties to cut back on them doing so while driving / riding.
      More food for serious thought.

    • It will hinder liquor sales, thats for sure.

  3. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    De-criminalization and further medical legalization should be the next step, but any sort of legalization should only come once there is a certifiable road side testing. Legalization without the ability to easily test for DUI will only will make regulation a difficult proposition

    • Paradise Reclaimed says:

      Decriminalization is a step to skip, it hands control to the gangs on a silver platter. Legalize, control and regulate, puhlease! Prohibition has been a failed model since the forbidden fruit.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Decriminalization is easier to manage than regulation, automatic fining for possession quantities would decrease the stress on our court system and isn’t going to make it any easier on the organized crime distribution than it is now. I stand by my belief that unless we an effectively test legal users for criminal conduct like DUI, than full legalization should be held until we can. Driving stoned is just as bad driving drunk, and we already have a major issue with that.

    • sage says:

      We don’t do roadside alcohol testing after 400 years of its abuse, try regulating the real problems.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        They are actually getting that program up and running, but I do agree, it should have been implemented a while ago. However, the testing for accurate DUI with marajuana is still quite technical and the results take a day or 2, so until they can have a roadside deployable testing kit, full recreational legalization in any form should be on hold.

        • It will bring more tourist, instead off chasing them away with $1000,00 fine for a spliff.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            I support decriminalization whole heartedly, however, if we do not have the mechanisms in place for effective management for criminal activities (in this case, DUI) then we only will create further complications to an already stressed legal structure. I believe that that we should eventually legalize, with regulation, primarily licensing to not only sell but smoke, but if we cannot on the spot test for its use in cases like traffic violations, the financial benefits for legalization will be overrun by the costs of managing that regulation

  4. sage says:

    Governments have lied about herbs effects and benefits, they have killed , beaten, tortured, imprisoned people, ruined lives, destroyed families and stole assets for merely possessing a plant that now is known to be far less harmful than the legal alternatives, it is beneficial medicinally, therapeutically and is a dietary essential. Had the “criminals” who risked facing the above abbreviated list of “consequences” not made it their duty to oppose biased, fundamentally flawed, unjust laws and simultaneously avert the impending extinction of ganja, the plant could have been wiped out. Therefore it is insulting and ridiculous to put the people who committed atrocities, based on hearsay and lies, against otherwise law abiding citizens in charge of regulating, taxing or having any thing at all to do with cannabis. An apology, major de-programming, truth and reconciliation,and a proper education on the subject, followed by expunging records, official pardons, and renumeration are in order,paid for by massive savings realized by abandoning prohibition.

  5. bermy says:

    the joke of it all is that, nothing will change anytime soon .

  6. RealRasta says:

    Weed In My Brain Everyday Its The Same Get So High I Don’t Even Know My Name #ImAHerbsMan
    -Exco Levi

  7. wombat says:

    If the results are not significantly different from last year, then there is not growing support. Either you collect statistics and explain the results, or you make up tales; it is unprofessional to do both.

    • Real talk (original) says:

      I guess you missed the 8.5% increase in the number of folks who believe some sort of change is needed. That is not insignificant.

  8. Kate says:

    People still have landlines? What percentage of respondents had rotary phones?

  9. Joey says:

    At this point, you’ve got to be a bumbling idiot to support prohibition.

  10. Micro says:

    I believe the word they were looking for was Cannabis. Marijuana is a derogatory and offensive term coined in the push to criminalise the plant in the US.

  11. Juice says:

    Decriminalization and regulation is the way to go. You’d think lessons would be learned from historic events but noooo. US prohibition created massive amounts of crime in the 20s and they learned the hard way that making something illegal doesnt prevent its use at all. Why would they not learn the lesson and do the same for other such substances is beyond me. Maybe there are just too many of those in power who are blinded by their own personal objections, many of which are based on misinformation. Remember, those who want to do it are already doing it. Decriminalize, regulate and reap the benefits.

  12. Mixitup says:

    Kangoo – no fear! There will always be that other loose screw ^^^^ out there to entertain you.

  13. King Jammys says:

    If Government was smart enough and creative enough to generate fee income we would not have a national debt to worry about. If Government was the drug dealer everyone else would have to work.

  14. Common Cents says:

    A lot of people no longer have landlines – I know I ditched mine almost two years ago, and when I ask friends & customers for a phone number, many have only a cell. My guess is that the population still with landlines will be heavily weighted to the elderly.

  15. Jeremy Deacon says:

    I am very luke warm about legalizing marijuana – I just don’t see this as an image that Bermuda should be projecting to the world.

    • Anbu says:

      Why not? But we r perfectly ok boasting that “Bermudians love to drink” ? Makes no sense whatsoever. Give us a damn choice. Juiceheads get free heroin at clinics but cops wanna lock us up for a joint. Something wrong here if u ask me. I really dont expect much to come of it tho esp with these two flip flop parties running the show. 20 years from now we will still be arguing about it.

  16. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Bermudians against Narcotics ….B.A.N…..has a 10 point brochure on
    What do we want……and a 9 point plan on…..What do we believe….
    point number 10 says…Our Mission ….statement.The gunshots and drugs
    continue to punctuate every remark that we ever made ….and will continue to do so until this scourge is eliminated in this society.Including decriminalization of marijuhana.Light up another spliff……then go .blow your brains out….or somebody elses.Cause thats what your doing….Numbskulls.!

    • Common Sense says:

      I happen to agree 99% of the time with everything Takbir wites about but on this one issue I respectfully disagree – 100%!

      The so-called war on drugs has and continues to be an abject failure in Bermuda and elsewhere. Personally, I don’t want to ever take marijuana or any of the other mind altering drugs, but I face the fact that alcohol is a mind altering drug and has been around for thousands of years. Yes, it is legal but with all kinds of legal restraints in place such as not selling to minors, and not driving when under the influence. It still causes some serious problems but we now know that the alternative – prohibition – is both ineffective and causes far more problems than it solves.

      My only concern about legalising marijuana is that at present there is no way of testing how much a person has ingested so if someone is arrested for being under the influence while driving, any test merely proves whether there is a positive or negative result. And a person can test positive even if they have not consumed any weed for several days or weeks before their arrest.

      Solve this problem and I’m 100% behind legalisation of marijuama.

  17. Alvin Williams says:

    Weed is to the younger generation what black rum was to their father’s generation.

    • Sara says:

      No actually if you are talking about the youth now you would say that prescription narcotics is to the younger generation what weed was to their fathers generation. Sit back and think about that.

  18. impressive. says:

    Its amazing that whenever the results of a poll are in contrast to what some people may be feeling on a particular subject, the validity of the poll is called into question. Why do some people find it so hard to believe that some people have different opinions or insights from what they have? #ifweallfeltthesamewhyhaveabrain

  19. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    And your point…??/ Was Black Rum or whiskey or and Liquor good for any generation????man .up..and Stand Up..!.

    • Anbu says:

      No but weed isnt even remotely close to being as dangerous as alcohol is or was at any time in history. Smoking it is dumb dumb dumb yes. But all other methods of taking it will not kill u.

  20. islandgal says:

    I attended the 2015 Colorado Cannabis Cup.35,000 persons in attendance. Wake up Bermy,& use cannabis profits for education, road fixing & the debt everyone keeps complaining about

  21. Hmmmm says:

    I don’t smoke weed. I used to, but just grew out of it I guess. The legal status had no impact on whether I smoked or did not smoke. I imagine the same is true for a fair number of people. The legal status does have a huge impact on gang revenues though.

  22. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    I could write a book about everything that I believe …..and another book about everything that I do not believe but of one thing I am certain……..a man convinced against …his will…..is of the same opinion …..still.And as some people like to say ……everybody has an opinion…….they are as common as .A..holes..you finish..!I do not wish to enforce my beliefs or opinions on anyone else…..but be assured…..you are responsible for your own ……A….holes..drunk….drugged…..or shot up….just dont complain and say……I did’nt know..Takbir means…..Allah…is the Greatest…..thats why I chose it….I speak from his motivation…….not Public Opinion Polls…..they also are as common as …..A….holes..and used for the same purpose..Allah-u-Akbar…..Allah is Greater…..or The Greatest.