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Marijuana Legalization: California Tax and Regulate Has Eight-Point Lead in Latest Poll, But Still Under 50%

According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Tuesday, the California Tax and Regulate Cannabis initiative has the support of 49% of voters, while 41% are opposed, and 10% are undecided. The figures are in line with other recent polls. Two weeks ago, an internal campaign poll had support at 51% and another public opinion poll had it at 49%.

The bad news for initiative supporters in the latest poll is that it needs 50% plus one vote to win, and it isn't there yet. The good news, however, is that the initiative only needs to pick up one out of five of those undecided voters to go over the top.

Or, as Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh institute of politics put it: "The good news for proponents is that they are starting off with a decent lead. The good news for the opposition is that initiatives that start off at less than 50% in the polls usually have a hard time."

The poll also questioned voters about their marijuana use histories, finding that 37% had tried pot and 11% had smoked it within the last year. Not surprisingly, those who had smoked within the last year favored the initiative by more than four-to-one (82%).

This latest poll, like previous ones, points to women, especially married women, as a key demographic. While men favor the initiative, women are split, and among married women, 49% oppose the initiative while 40% are in favor.

Pollsters also asked about some of the key arguments made by supporters and opponents of the initiative. When asked whether they thought legalization of marijuana could raise a billion dollars in revenue, 42% said yes, while 38% said that figure was wildly exaggerated. Voters in Los Angeles, where dispensaries spread like wildfire in the last half of the last decade, were most likely to believe that such revenues could be generated.

When asked whether legalizing marijuana would worsen social problems, voters were similarly split, although such concerns especially resonated with those who oppose the initiative. Of that group, 83% think freeing the weed would increase crime and teen marijuana use. Fifty-five percent of married women also think that.

Attitudes toward legalization diverge sharply by age, with support much higher among younger voters. A 52% majority of voters 65 and older oppose legalization. Among voters between 45 and 64, 49% support it. But among those 30 to 44, 53% are in favor, and that rises to 61% among those 18 to 29.

The next five months are going to be very interesting. But if the tax and regulate initiative is to emerge victorious at the polls come November, it has its work cut out for it. And it looks very much like the path to victory is going to have to go through Mom.

Marijuana: Legalization Has Majority Support in Washington State, Poll Finds

Marijuana legalization has the support of 52% of Washington state voters, according to a poll released last week by The Washington Poll, a quarterly sounding of public opinion on different issues conducted by the University of Washington. Only 35% opposed it, with 13% either undecided or not responding to the question.

Pollsters asked 1,252 registered voters whether they would support "removing state civil and criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana." That is the precise language used on I-1068, the marijuana legalization initiative sponsored by Sensible Washington, which is now engaged in a signature-gathering campaign to get the measure on the November ballot.

A marijuana legalization initiative is already on the ballot in California, where it leads narrowly in recent polls, but has not cracked 50%. Another legalization initiative is in the signature gathering phase in Oregon. It is unclear whether either the Washington or Oregon initiatives will manage to get onto the ballot in November, but these kinds of numbers can only help the Washington effort.

The Washington Poll did not provide crosstabs with more detailed breakdowns of who did and did not support marijuana legalization. It had a margin of error of 2.8%.

Marijuana: Detroit Possession Legalization Initiative Approved

A municipal initiative that would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults is headed for the November ballot. The Coalition for a Safer Detroit announced this week that the Detroit Elections Commission had certified its petitions.

The initiative would amend the city's controlled substance statute by adding the words: "None of the provisions of this article shall apply to the use or possession of less than 1 ounce of marihuana, on private property, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years."

The coalition turned in more than 6,000 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. The initiative is now before the Detroit City Council, which has 30 days to pass it into law or it goes automatically before the voters in November.

"We met the proper number of signatures and we met all the legal standards," initiative organizer and medical marijuana patient Tim Beck told the Detroit Free Press. "There will be no legal challenge to keep it off the ballot. I'm very confident. People in Detroit have a serious understanding that priorities need to be reordered in respect to law enforcement. We need to focus on violent crime and guns. We just can't afford this any longer."

Beck knows his initiatives. He was the moving force behind the successful Detroit medical marijuana initiative in 2004.

Feature: Arizona Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Be on November Ballot

Arizona is now set to join South Dakota as states where voters will have the chance to approve a medical marijuana initiative this year. The Arizona secretary of state's office announced Tuesday that supporters had turned in enough valid voter signatures to be certified for the November ballot.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/ballot2.jpg
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project (AMMPP), which is pushing the initiative, collected more than 252,000 signatures on petitions that were turned in to state officials in March. They only needed 153, 365 valid signatures to make the ballot, and now they have done so.

The initiative would allow terminally and seriously ill patients suffering from specified diseases or conditions to use marijuana with their doctor's approval. It also allows for state authorities to add diseases or conditions to that list. The initiative creates a registry system for patients and caregivers and establishes penalties for false statements and fraudulent IDs.

Patients would have to procure their medicine at a regulated medical marijuana dispensary unless they live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary. In that case, patients or their caregivers could grow up to 12 plants. No caregiver could grow for more than five patients. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces.

The initiative caps the number of dispensaries at 120 to avoid a California-style green gold rush. It also specifies that people cannot smoke marijuana at the dispensaries, a phenomenon that has occurred in some medical marijuana states. And it has zoning restrictions to keep dispensaries in commercial or industrial areas and away from schools.

"We are very happy that Arizonans will have the opportunity this November to vote for a compassionate and responsible law that protects seriously ill patients," said Steve Fox, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, which provides significant funding and support to AMMPP. "By voting in favor of this initiative, Arizonans will ensure that residents suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other serious ailments will be given safe access to a medicine they and their doctors believe can relieve their condition. The proposed law will also create a dispensary system that will provide patients the same reliable access to medical marijuana that they would have to any other medicine -- meaning they won't have to risk their own safety by purchasing it from the criminal market."

"This would provide relief for Arizona's most vulnerable and ill residents," AMMPP spokesman Andrew Myers told the Arizona Capitol Times.

Opponents are already sharpening their arguments. Former DEA agent and Partnership for a Drug-Free America Arizona affiliate spokesman Doug Hebert told the Capitol Times smoking marijuana is no substitute for medicine and that allowing medical marijuana would lead to increased illegal drug use. He also questioned the motives of initiative backers.

"They're preying on voter sympathy for very ill people, because they want to smoke marijuana," Hebert claimed. "If they wanted to keep this above ground, you'd think they'd want law enforcement to have a role, but they specifically wrote into the initiative that the only agency that can monitor the dispensaries is the (Department of Health Services), and they can't make an inspection without giving notice first," he complained.

Hebert also claimed the initiative infringes on the right of employers to keep a drug-free workplace -- it does not -- and that it would cause permissive attitudes toward drug use, particularly among kids. That has not proven to be the case in other states that allow medical marijuana.

This would be the third attempt at legalizing medical marijuana at the ballot box in Arizona. In 1996, voters approved an initiative allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, but that was overturned by the state legislature. Two years later, voters again approved medical marijuana, but that effort was invalidated because of a drafting error.

Drafters of the current initiative learned from those efforts and others around the country, Myers said. "We could look at what works, and what doesn't," he said. "We wrote it to be as transparent as possible, and to have no negative impact."

AMMPP polling has support for the initiative at 65%. If that holds, Arizona could become the 15th medical marijuana state -- or the 16th, if South Dakota also approves it on Election Day.

Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. Monthly Public Meeting

Please join us! Here's the agenda: 7:00 PM: Call meeting to order, approve May 2010 minutes, discuss: The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act is scheduled to take effect in July 2010. Gov. Christie asks for 6 -- 12 month delay. Rally & Press Conference scheduled for Friday, June 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM on the State House steps in Trenton! Please support CMMNJ's effort in this. Also, tell NJ state officials to implement the law as written. Contact Governor Christie here: http://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/ (Choose "Health & Senior Services" as your e-mail topic) Contact NJ DHSS (Health) Commissioner Alaigh here: http://www.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/dhss/contact/contact.pl?page=marijuana The new law can be found here: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/PL09/307_.HTM Info about the new law from NJ DHSS is at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/med_marijuana.shtml CMMNJ is forming Patient Advisory Groups to add qualifying conditions to the law. ATC Advisory Board also formed by CMMNJ. New Jersey State Nurses Assn. Medical Marijuana Breakfast cancelled. The event had been scheduled for 6/3/10 @ 9:30 AM at NJSNA Headquarters, Trenton, NJ. Upcoming CMMNJ events: Gay Pride Parade 6/6/10, Asbury Park, NJ; Southern Shore Music Festival, 6/19/10, Bridgeton, NJ, noon to 8 PM; Project Freedom Wellness Fair, Lawrence Twp., 6/22/10 3 pm to 7 pm; MS Patients Support Group in Livingston, NJ, 7/12/10 @ 7 pm; Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, 7/31/10, 8pm--12 MN; NJ League of Municipalities, 11/15-18/10. Treasury report: Checking: $2,789.79; PayPal: $2640.34. Tax-deductible donations to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity may be made through Paypal on our web site, or send a check made out to "CMMNJ" to the address below. Get a free t-shirt for a donation above $15—specify size. CMMNJ's scheduled meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at the Lawrence Twp. Library from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM. All are welcome. Snacks are served. The library is at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. (Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.) For more info, contact: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618, tel: (609) 394-2137, e-mail: ohamkrw@aol.com www.cmmnj.org.
Date: 
Tue, 06/08/2010 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 
2751 Brunswick Pike
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
United States

Medical Marijuana Press Conference

On Friday June 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm local medical marijuana advocacy groups will hold a press conference at the State House steps in Trenton, NJ. Doctors, nurses, potential medical marijuana patients, and supporters of the new law will address recent news of a proposed delay in implementing the program. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law in January 2010. As passed, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was to issue regulations in July and patients were anticipating access to the program by the fall. Last week a request was made by the Christie administration for an additional 6 to 12 months before the medical marijuana regulations would be issued. The extension would require legislation. Ken Wolski, a registered nurse and Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey said, “If the Department of Health cannot write these regulations in 6 months, there is no guarantee they will be able to write them in 18 months. There is no need for this delay. Patients are suffering continuously as they wait for this program.” Anne M. Davis, Executive Director of NORML-NJ said, “This is a law and there are no exceptions. There are patients with chronic or even terminal illnesses that cannot get an extension on life.” Wolski continued, “Marijuana is recognized as medicine in New Jersey and patients deserve timely access to it. The recent trial and conviction of MS patient John Wilson in Somerville amply proves that patients desperately need regulated access to marijuana that is legal in the eyes of police, prosecutors, judges and juries around the state.” For more information, contact Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. at 609.394.2137 or ohamkrw@aol.com.
Date: 
Fri, 06/04/2010 - 1:00pm
Location: 
125 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608-1101
United States

Media Advisory: Medical Marijuana Press Conference at Trenton State House on 6/4/10 at 1:00 pm

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more info, contact: Ken @ (609) 394-2137

Medical Marijuana press conference at Trenton State House on 6/4/10 at 1:00 pm

WHO:     Patients, professionals and medical marijuana advocates

WHAT:   Plan a medical marijuana press conference

WHEN:   June 4, 2010 at 1:00PM

WHERE: Trenton, NJ State House – State Street entrance steps

WHY:       To urge the timely implementation of the medical marijuana law

On Friday June 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm local medical marijuana advocacy groups will hold a press conference at the State House steps in Trenton, NJ.  Doctors, nurses, potential medical marijuana patients, and supporters of the new law will address recent news of a proposed delay in implementing the program.

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law in January 2010. As passed, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was to issue regulations in July and patients were anticipating access to the program by the fall.  Last week a request was made by the Christie administration for an additional 6 to 12 months before the medical marijuana regulations would be issued. The extension would require legislation.  Ken Wolski, a registered nurse and Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey said, “If the Department of Health cannot write these regulations in 6 months, there is no guarantee they will be able to write them in 18 months. There is no need for this delay.  Patients are suffering continuously as they wait for this program.”

Anne M. Davis, Executive Director of NORML-NJ said, “This is a law and there are no exceptions.  There are patients with chronic or even terminal illnesses that cannot get an extension on life.”

Wolski continued, “Marijuana is recognized as medicine in New Jersey and patients deserve timely access to it.  The recent trial and conviction of MS patient John Wilson in Somerville amply proves that patients desperately need regulated access to marijuana that is legal in the eyes of police, prosecutors, judges and juries around the state.”


Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director

Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ  08618
609.394.2137 www.cmmnj.org   ohamkrw@aol.com

Additional contacts for further information:
Anne M. Davis: law@annemdavis.com 732 477 4700
Chris Goldstein: media@cmmnj.org 505 577 5093(cell)

Location: 
Trenton, NJ
United States

Margaret Polovchak Wants to Put Cancer Patients in Jail

Why? Because she thinks it will help save the children:

A discussion of legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois is likely fueling an increase in the number of Park Ridge teenagers using the substance, the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation contends.

Margaret Polovchak, executive director of MCYAF, said increased dialogue about marijuana legislation in the state leads to a greater public perception that the substance is not harmful, resulting in a growing number of users.

It's wrong on so many levels, one scarcely knows where to begin. But I guess we'll start with the fact that teen marijuana use declined for 10 years straight after the national debate over medical marijuana emerged in the mid-90's.

You see, Illinois isn’t the first state where this conversation has taken place. There's actually an abundance of empirical data to consult before spouting off mindless speculation. Here, check out this helpful chart showing how almost every state that legalized medical marijuana experienced a subsequent decline in teen marijuana use.

Now you'll never find me arguing that passing medical marijuana laws makes kids less likely to try it. But the fact that rates of use have fluctuated similarly in states with and without such laws really just massacres the idea that having a public debate about marijuana policy somehow endangers children. If you want to see an endangered child, check out this video of a SWAT team shooting two dogs in front of a 7-year-old during a bust for a small bag of pot.

Anyone who's concerned about children getting mixed messages in the medical marijuana debate should stop lying about medical marijuana. You know it's medicine because the Institute of Medicine said so. You know it's medicine because its main ingredient is approved by the FDA and the manufacturer even marketed it as "legal marijuana." You know it's medicine because seriously ill patients continue to turn to it for relief, even when doing so places them at risk of being raided and imprisoned simply for trying to make their cancer suck a little less.

The effort to protect children from the dangers of drugs is a noble one, but taking medicine away from people who need it is one strategy that shouldn’t even be on the table.

Paul Armentano Talks Legalization on FOX News

Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch program continues to impress me. Paul does a great job, and the whole segment provides a good overview of the madness and hypocrisy of Obama's marijuana policy:


The fact that FOX has created a platform for these sorts of discussions is significant. I wouldn't have thought it possible even a couple years ago.

We are all Arizonans

Donate Header AZ  Dear friends:

Can you help a "fellow" Arizonan out?

Since 1996, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed effective medical marijuana laws. Whether you live in one of these states or not, you can certainly appreciate the benefits enjoyed by patients who do. And we hope this appreciation makes you care as much as we do about adding another state to that list.

As it turns out, a golden opportunity to add another state is before us. Yesterday, the Arizona Secretary of State informed the MPP-backed Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project that its medical marijuana initiative has qualified for the November ballot! This initiative would establish a system of 120 dispensaries throughout the state, ensuring that patients have safe and reliable access to the medicine they need.

Each time another state makes medical marijuana legal, we get closer to a day when it becomes generally accepted and legal across the country. So if Arizona wins, we all win. With that thought in mind, through November of this year, we are all Arizonans in spirit.

As an honorary Arizonan, your help is needed. Specifically, the campaign needs to raise funds for a basic expense: yard signs. Each sign costs approximately $2.50, so a contribution of $10 will put 4 signs on the ground and a contribution of $25 will cover 10. Even $5 will pay for a couple of signs that hundreds of voters will see! Please visit the AMMPP campaign site and make a contribution to our yard sign fund to help us reach our $5,000 goal.

Thanks,Steve FoxDirector of State Campaigns
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.Donate Image AZ2

Location: 
AZ
United States

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