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Cuomo Opposes Medical Marijuana, Paladino Says Let the People Decide

New York Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he opposes legislation to allow for the use of medical marijuana in the Empire State. Cuomo's remarks came in response to a question prompted by a statement by Republican nominee week Carl Paladino a week earlier that the subject should be put to a popular vote.

Cuomo as Attorney General
New York does not have a voter initiative process, but that didn't stop the Tea Party-supported Paladino from suggesting public referendums on a number of hot button issues, including gay marriage, enacting tougher immigration laws, and medical marijuana. "Let the people decide," Paladino said at a Taxpayer Party forum in Middletown when asked about medical marijuana.

The irascible arch-conservative Palodino, an upstart upstate candidate, trails badly in the polls. According to Real Clear Politics, in the average of all polls on the race, Paladino gets trounced 58% to 31%. The most recent poll, taken over the weekend, has Cuomo winning 60% to 37%.

But even that huge lead wasn't comfortable enough for Cuomo, who in past years lent strong support to the campaign to repeal New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws, to take a similarly progressive stance on medical marijuana. Nor is evident support for medical marijuana among key Cuomo constituencies enough to budge him. According to a March poll, 50% of New Yorkers supported medical marijuana. The figures were higher for liberals (72%), young voters (62%) and Democrats (55%).

When asked by reporters Sunday about medical marijuana, Cuomo said he opposed a medical marijuana bill that had passed the state Assembly. "I think the dangers outweigh the benefits," he said. "I understand the benefits. I understand that it's been tried in other places. I think the risks outweigh the benefits."

When asked about possible revenues from taxing medical marijuana, Cuomo refused to bite. "A lot of things could raise revenues," he said."Legalizing prostitution could raise revenues. I'm against that, too."

And speaking of prostitution, it's worth noting that Paladino isn't the only option for marijuana reformers. Former madam Kirsten Davis is running on a marijuana and prostitution legalization platform on the Anti-Prohibition Party ticket, though her support is too small to show up in the polls. In the Senate race, long-time drug reformer Randy Credico has emphasized anti-prohibitionist and other drug reform positions in his independent campaign taking on Chuck Schumer.

The positions taken by the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New York are yet another indication that good drug policy reform positions are the exclusive domain of neither major party.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

United States

California Chamber of Commerce in Anti-Prop 19 Radio Attack Ad Campaign

The California Chamber of Commerce has begun a $250,000 radio ad campaign against Proposition 19, the tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative. The first ads hit the airwaves last Friday, the business group announced in a statement.

Here is the Prop 19 language that has the Chamber so bestirred: "No person shall be punished, fined, discriminated against, or be denied any right or privilege for lawfully engaging in any conduct permitted by this Act or authorized pursuant to Section 11301 of this Act. Provided however, that the existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected."

The Chamber wants employers to continue to be able to fire workers for failing a drug test for marijuana, even though such test do not measure actual impairment, but only the presence of metabolites in the body. Those metabolites can remain for days or even weeks after the psychoactive effects of marijuana have worn off.

"Imagine coming out of surgery and the nurse caring for you was high or having to work harder on your job because a co-worker shows up high on pot," intones a woman's voice in the ad. "It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes. Prop 19 would do more than simply legalize marijuana.  Prop 19 is worded so broadly is would hurt California's economy, raise business costs and make it harder to create jobs."

The Chamber has prepared a legal analysis that argues that Prop 19 would create a "protected class" of pot-smoking workers, and "expose workers to increased risk of injury, jeopardize federally funded projects and jobs, and add more liabilities and costs to already overburdened employers." 

"The employer impacts and workplace safety concerns highlighted in CalChamber’s legal analysis have been prominently featured in the many statewide editorials opposing Proposition 19," said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. "We want to be sure we reinforce the facts with voters so they understand that this measure will undermine the ability of employers to ensure a safe work environment and create higher costs for those who provide and create jobs."

In addition to the Reefer Madness-style fear-mongering already cited, the Chamber ad falsely claims that "employees would be able to come to work high, and employers wouldn’t be able to punish an employee for being high until after a workplace accident," when the initiative clearly states they can sanction actual impairment.

It's the final stretch in the campaign, and big business has begun the mud-slinging.

United States

Prop 19 Down in LA Times Poll

Two California polls last week showed Proposition 19 trailing as election day draws near. A Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Friday also had the marijuana legalization initiative trailing by 39% to 51%, with 10% undecided.

Last Wednesday, a Public Policy Institute of California poll had the measure losing 49% to 44%. But that same day, a SurveyUSA poll had it winning 48% to 44%.

Prop 19 had led in most polls taken this year and maintained a 1.2% lead in the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, which has not yet included the LA Time/USC poll. Looking at just the polls conducted in October and including the polls mentioned in this article, Prop 19 trailed by an average of 47.5% to 46.3%. At press time that had shifted to 49.6% to 43.7%.

The conventional wisdom is that in initiative elections, the burden of persuading voters is on the initiative. The electorate must be convinced to move from the status quo. But despite a late infusion of cash this month, the Prop 19 campaign does not have the funds to try to sway voters through TV ad campaigns in this state with some of the most expensive media markets in the country. Yes on 19 and allied organizations are engaged in a substantial get out the vote campaign, though.

The LA Times/USC poll found the measure supported by Democrats and independents, but opposed by Republicans. Men were split on the issue, with women leaning against it. Both sides in the campaign have considered mothers to be a key demographic.

Prop 19 continues to have support among likely voters under 40, winning by 48% to 37%. Among voters over 65, only 28% support it, with 59% opposed. The LA Times/USC poll showed Latinos swinging against Prop 19 by a two-to-one margin -- a finding at odds with most other polls. It also showed white voters opposing the measure. In most other polls, white voters favored it by a small margin.

The LA Times/USC poll surveyed 441 likely voters by telephone, including both cell phones and land lines, between October 13 and 20. The margin of error for the sample is +/- 4.6%.

United States

European Union Uses Weak Evidence to Urge Mephedrone Ban

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), called for an EU-wide ban on the synthetic drug mephedrone last week, describing it as "dangerous psychoactive substance," but based that call on scanty evidence. The stimulant drug, with effects likened to those of cocaine and ecstasy, is already illegal in 15 EU countries, but remains available in 12 more.

mephedrone sample (photo from
Mephedrone, also known as meow meow, MCAT, or meph, is derived from cathinone, the psychoactive stimulant in khat. It first appeared in European markets in 2007, presumed to be courtesy of Chinese manufacturers, and has been popular in the club scene. For the last year, mephedrone has been breathlessly reported on, especially by tabloids in Britain, where it is now banned.

"It is a dangerous drug that is available online and on the street corner. People have died because of this drug, so I urge governments to move fast to control and criminalize it," said justice commissioner Viviane Reding in a Wednesday statement. "We have a responsibility to protect young people against dangerous new psychoactive substances."

The commission claimed that mephedrone "has been linked to at least 37 deaths in the UK and Ireland alone" and acted in an emergency manner because of a mephedrone risk assessment report published last week by the European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Alcohol (EMCDDA). The commission added that the report "showed that mephedrone can cause acute health problems and lead to dependency."

But the report itself says that no direct causal link can yet be made between mephedrone and the reported deaths. "There have been a very limited number of deaths reported to be related directly to the use of mephedrone," the EMCDDA report said.

There are only two in which mephedrone appears to be the sole cause of death. Of the other 35 reported deaths, the EMCDDA report noted, "In some of these cases it is likely that other drugs and/or other medical conditions or trauma may have contributed to or been responsible for death. The inquests into the deaths are pending for the majority of these cases therefore it is not possible at this time to determine the contribution of mephedrone."

The evidence base for assessing mephedrone is weak, the report found. "The studies available on mephedrone are few, largely preliminary and focused on user self-reports. To date no epidemiological data on prevalence has been published. The majority of studies originate from the United Kingdom and evidence from other member states is scarce."

As a result, EMCDDA warned against a rush to judgment about mephedrone's danger. "Taken as a whole, the scientific evidence base available for drawing conclusions is limited and this proviso should be borne in mind when interpreting the findings of the risk assessment exercise," the report said.

But that, of course, is what the EU has done with its call for a union-wide ban on the new club drug. That didn't sit well with former British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs head David Nutt, who was fired for criticizing the government there as "politically motivated rather than scientifically justified" for rescheduling cannabis to a more serious schedule.

"An EU-wide ban on mephedrone is remarkable for its lack of scientific evidence," Nutt told EUobserver. "The report primarily relies on user experiences and a handful of hospital admissions, with no formal studies to demonstrate the actual or potential harms of the drug. It is not yet possible to say how harmful mephedrone is given the lack of evidence. However, by legislating on a substance without reliable scientifically-based evidence, we run the risk of causing more harm through criminalizing users than might be caused by the drug itself. The evidence on drug harms should not be sacrificed for political and media pressure."

PPIC Poll: Prop 19 Behind 49% to 44%

Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in California, has lost support and is now trailing, according to poll results released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The landline and cell phone poll of 2,002 adults surveyed between October 10 and 17 has Prop 19 losing, 49% to 44%, with 7% undecided.

The numbers for Prop 19 are down eights from PPIC's September poll, which had it winning with 52%. But they are almost the mirror image of SurveyUSA poll also released Wednesday that showed Prop 19 leading 48% to 44%.

In the new PPIC poll, the initiative lost significant support among independents (from 65% to 40%) and Latinos (63% to 42%), and among almost all demographic groups. Whites are now more likely to oppose the support Prop 19 by a thin margin, a reversal from last month.

This poll is the fifth of 15 polls taken this year to show Prop 19 trailing. Ten others had it ahead, but only four of them had it at 50% or over, and the last one to do so was last month's PPIC poll. According to the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, the average of all polls has Prop 19 leading 46.8% to 44.5%.  As of publication time, it had not been updated with Wednesday's two polls, but in terms of the poll averages, they would be a wash.

This is going to get very tense for the next 12 days.

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Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 28,000 people, the government reported in August. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war.

Servando Gomez ("La Tuta")
Thursday, October 14

In Michoacan, a radio statement broadcast a recording described as a conversation between a high-level drug trafficker and a federal lawmaker. W radio said that the recording was between La Familia Cartel figure Servando Gomez (La Tuta) and politician Cesar Godoy. The two express support for one another and discuss offering a bribe to a journalist. Godoy was one of 36 Michoacan people accused of ties to the La Familia organization last year.

In Tamaulipas, Mexican authorities temporarily called off the search for a missing American. David Hartley has been missing since a shooting incident on Falcon Lake, which sits on the US-Mexico border. Mexican authorities will resume the search after a review of search strategies.

Friday, October 15

In the city of Chihuahua, six members of the prison Immediate Reaction Task Force were killed after the vehicle in which they were driving to work was ambushed. At least 10 gunmen fired on the vehicle with assault rifles. The attack occurred just two days after the La Linea -- the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel -- declared war on prison officials for their supposed favorable treatment of Sinaloa Cartel members.

In Jalisco, soldiers confiscated a massive cache of arms and ammunition at a home in the town of Zapopan. The arsenal included 51 rifles, 49 handguns, two rocket launchers, 20 grenades and 38,000 rounds of ammunition. Police also seized 18 kilos of meth, a small amount of cocaine, and a vehicle. No arrests appear to have been made.

Sunday, October 17

In Ciudad Juarez, 15 people were murdered in several locations. In one incident, eight people were killed when gunmen stormed a house. In another incident, the mayor of the nearby town of El Porvenir and his son were gunned down. The two had fled El Porvenir three weeks ago after the kidnap and murder of several neighbors.

Tuesday,  October 19

In Tijuana, soldiers and police seized 134 tons of marijuana during early morning raids in several locations. The marijuana was packaged in at least 15,000 different packages, which were marked with coded phrases and pictures, including images of Homer Simpson saying "I'm gonna get high, dude" in Spanish. Initial reports suggest the load belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel. The raids followed a shootout with several suspects, who led authorities to the stash locations.

Total Body Count for the Week:118

Total Body Count for the Year: 8,508


Will South Dakota Voters Pass Medical Marijuana? [FEATURE]

[This article has been updated with additional interview commentary.]

South Dakota medical marijuana patients and advocates are hoping that in two weeks the Mt. Rushmore state will become the 15th medical marijuana state. They came close in 2006, losing by only four percentage points, but think they can get over the top this time around.

Pro-Measure 13 Demonstration, Rapid City (courtesy South Dakota Coalition for Compassion)
After that 2006 defeat, activists went back to the drawing board, eventually crafting a tightly-drawn medical marijuana initiative designed to win over a skeptical and conservative prairie electorate. The result, the South Dakota Safe Access Act, known on the ballot as Measure 13, would make the South Dakota medical marijuana law among the most restrictive in the nation.

The initiative limits medical marijuana access to patients with a list of specified illnesses and conditions. It requires that patients be in a "bona fide relationship" with the recommending physician and provides for a state registry and ID card system.

Patients are limited to an ounce of marijuana and six plants. They can designate one caregiver each, and each caregiver can grow for no more than five patients. Caregivers can be remunerated for costs, but cannot make profits. There is no provision for a dispensary system.

"This initiative addresses the concerns of people in South Dakota about people who just want to use it recreationally," said Tony Ryan, a former Denver police officer who is now a spokesman for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, the group behind the measure. "They won't be able to get it. People were worried it would get into the wrong hands, so it is really restrictive, but it will get the medicine to the patients who need it and keep them from getting arrested or going to the black market."

"I have a really good feeling about this," said Rep. Martha Vanderlinde (D-Sioux Falls), who sponsored a 2008 medical marijuana bill in the state legislature. "I think most of the people already have their minds made up. The more people I talk to, they say why not, if it's going to reduce the pain and suffering."

Vanderlinde, who is running for reelection, has been talking to a lot of people. She said she had knocked on 2,500 doors during the election campaign, and while she didn't always bring up the initiative, many of her constituents did.

"Just today, this little old lady leaned over and whispered 'How are you voting on 13?' and I told I had already voted for it, and she said 'Good,'" Vanderlinde said. "When people ask me, I tell them how I voted and that my father voted for it, too. People told me this was political suicide at the legislature, but my constituents don't think so," said the registered nurse.

Bob Newland has been South Dakota's one man marijuana movement  for years, playing a leading, if behind the scenes, role in the 2006 effort. After a pot bust near Rapid City last year, he was silenced for a year in an unusual sentence from a local judge, but now he's back, and he's cautiously optimistic.

"Everything I see tells me we're going to win," said Newland. "I was very optimistic in 2006, and we had reason to be. We got 47.3%. All of those people will vote for us, so we got a hell of a start before we even got this on the ballot."

Four years have made a difference, said Newland. "The national raising of consciousness and people's realization that, yes, this is of benefit to some people and it makes no sense to punish them have increased support," he said.

And last time around, the Office of National Drug Control Policy under Republican drug czar John Walters sent representatives to South Dakota to hold press conferences with local law enforcement opposing medical marijuana. This time, there is no sign the drug czar's office will intervene in the state ballot measure contest. Newland kind of misses the drug warrior types.

"I hope they come," he said. "Everything they say sounds stupid now, and we have a president and an attorney general who said they would quit arresting people in medical states."

Indeed, it has been a low-key, low-budget affair on both sides of the issue. The organized opposition, Vote No on 13, has an amateurish web site themed around "Compassion Shouldn't Mean Addiction," and no apparent advertising budget. Its lead spokesman, Vermillion Police Chief Art Mabry, head of the South Dakota Police Chiefs' Association, is out of the office all month and unavailable for comment.

Maybe Mabry needed that time off. He wasn’t exactly on message in an interview 10 days ago with the Rapid City Journal. "I think it's going to pass, I think South Dakota people are a caring people," he said, adding that the pro campaign will "tug at the heartstrings" of voters.

Watertown Police Chief Jo Vitek, who will shortly replace Mabry as head of the chiefs' association, had a litany of problems with the measure. "The research on the efficacy of marijuana as medicine is limited," she told the Chronicle. "The FDA, along with most national medical associations, does not support smoked marijuana as medicine."

Vitek also expressed concerns about administrative costs, citing the need to conduct background checks on caregivers and policing compliance. "In a state where significant 'cutbacks' have been made to balance an already tight budget, will positions be created to address the aforementioned matters?," she asked. "Who will pay for this added expense?" 

That question has an answer. Section 28 of the initiative, which discusses administrative rule-making and regulations, says: "The rules shall establish application and renewal fees that generate revenue sufficient to offset all expenses of implementing and administering this Act."

 Vitek worried about drugged driving as well, asking "Will we also see a rise in the crime rate?"

And the chief expressed worry about "the health concerns of indoor marijuana grow operations," wondering whether caregivers would be required to meet code requirements, whether they would have to disclose their grows to their neighbors, and whether they would be required to have their homes inspected for black mold before selling them. 

Vitek said the chief's' association had put $2,500 into the effort to defeat Measure 13. That's not a lot of money, even in South Dakota, but law enforcement has other means of influencing voters. Last week, the South Dakota Highway Patrol issued a statement noting what it called a trend toward highway drug busts of people carrying medical marijuana cards from other states. It counted seven incidents.

"That was clearly a political maneuver out of bounds with what the department should be doing," said an indignant Emmit Reistroffer, who has been the driving force behind the campaign during Newland's enforced absence. "We have one of the most popular east-west interstates in the country, and of course there will be some marijuana coming across. But no state allows licensed growers to take their product out of state, so pointing fingers at a handful of incidents where somebody abuses the program is really taking it out of context. I'm really disappointed," he said.

"I'm biting my nails," said Reistroffer. "We are working hard as hell, we've had some huge rallies in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, we've had patients in the newspapers, we're really pushing this grassroots style," he said from a cell phone as he canvassed voters door-to-door.

But the campaign doesn't have any money and, unlike two years ago, election dynamics are not working in the campaign's favor. Energized Republicans are expected to come out in large numbers in a bid to defeat Democratic incumbent US Rep. Stephenie Herseth-Sandlin, and a measure regarding public cigarette smoking is also on the ballot.

"We're really struggling for funds, and we're going to have to pull this off in the most grassroots way imaginable," said Reistroffer. "This could have passed easily in 2008 because of the surge of voters then, but we expect a much smaller turnout this year."

Now, barring last-minute explosive revelations, the die is largely cast. Neither side has the money for a late media campaign. Early and absentee voting has already begun, and it all comes down to getting out the vote.

United States

SurveyUSA: Prop 19 Ahead 48% to 44%

Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in California, is maintaining a narrow lead, according to poll results released Wednesday by SurveyUSA. The poll of 621 likely and actual voters (early voting started two weeks ago) was taken between Friday and Sunday and had the initiative leading 48% to 44%, with 8% undecided.

[Editor's Note: A Public Policy Institute of California poll released Wednesday night had contrary results. It was too late for this week's Chronicle, but you can read about it here.]


Election Day not far away
The findings are roughly in line with more than a dozen other polls taken on Prop 19 this year, all but four of which have the measure leading. According to the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, the average of all polls has Prop 19 leading 46.8% to 44.5%. The polltracker, however, has not been updated with this latest SurveyUSA poll. Once it is, support will increase slightly, while opposition will decrease slightly.

SurveyUSA has done six polls on Prop 19, and they show support declining slightly from 50% in the earliest surveys. They also show opposition rising slightly. It was at 40% in July, peaked at 43% in September, then declined to 41% early this month before rising to 44% in the current poll.

With a four percent margin of error, this latest SurveyUSA poll shows a very tight race indeed. With undecideds beginning a not unexpected peeling off toward a "no" vote, voter turnout is going to be key to victory on November 2.

United States

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Crookedness in the Wayne County, Michigan, court system; endemic corruption in Camden; a tweaker cop in Iowa; and another pair of jail guards go bad. Let's get to it:

evidence room
In Detroit, a retired Wayne County judge, a retired Wayne County drug prosecutor, and two former Inkster police officers were ordered last week to stand trial on felony charges related to a perjury-tainted 2005 cocaine trial. Retired Judge Mary Waterstone, former Wayne County drug prosecutor Karen Plants, and former Inkster police officers Robert McArthur and Scott Rechtzigel are accused of conspiring to hide the role of a secret paid informant in a 47-kilo cocaine bust. Waterstone faces four felony counts of official misconduct, Plants is charged with conspiracy, McArthur is charged with conspiracy, perjury, and misconduct in office, and Rechtzigel is charged with perjury and conspiracy. Waterstone is accused of privately agreeing with prosecutors to hide the identity of the informant and allowing the informant and the two police officers to lie on the stand about the nature of their relationship.

In Camden, New Jersey, two Camden police officers were charged October 13 with falsifying evidence in drug cases in an ongoing scandal that has caused prosecutors to drop more than 200 criminal cases. Officers Antonio Figueroa, 34, and Robert Bayard, 32, were members of a special operations unit assigned to crack down on open-air drug markets, but five unit members became drug traffickers themselves. They are accused of stealing from some suspects, planting drugs on others, threatening to plant drugs to coerce cooperation, paying informants with drugs, keeping drugs for their own use, conducting illegal searches, giving false testimony and filing false reports between 2007 and last year. Three other officers have already been charged in the year-long investigation. Figueroa and Bayard had been on suspension for the past year. Figueroa faces eight charges and Bayard five. For both, the most serious is conspiracy to violate the civil rights of a citizen, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In Des Moines, Iowa, a former Pleasant Hill police officer was sentenced last Friday to three years' probation for stealing methamphetamine from the department evidence room and crashing his police SUV while tweaking. Former officer Dan Edwards had pleaded guilty to DUI, illegal drug possession, and third-degree burglary. Edwards went down after the April crash, when a state trooper reported finding meth on him. Edwards' attorney said he suffered post traumatic stress disorder after tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq and this his wife and infant son had been killed in a car crash years earlier.

In Pensacola, Florida, a former Escambia County Road Prison corrections officer was found guilty last Thursday of providing Xanax to a prisoner in exchange for oral sex. Lawrence Vieitez was convicted on charges of delivery of a controlled substance, introducing contraband into a county detention facility and solicitation to commit prostitution. He went down after an inmate complained about his advances. The inmate was then wired, and a deputy was able to listen in as Vieitez offered to procure Xanax in exchange for oral sex. Vieitez then left to obtain the Xanax and was arrested when he gave it to the inmate. He's looking at up to 20 years in prison.

In Paterson, New Jersey, a former Passaic County corrections officer was sentenced last Friday to five years in state prison for smuggling heroin and homemade weapons into the Passaic County Jail. Former guard Marvin Thompson, 41, has no chance at early parole. During trial, prosecutors argued that Thompson smuggled the contraband into the jail with the intention of "discovering" it so he would look like a hero. He was then a provisional employee and hoped to win a permanent post. But an inmate working with Thompson snitched him out, and when he reported finding 10 packets of heroin, he was arrested. He was convicted of second degree official misconduct, possession of heroin, and filing false police reports.

Fox News Poll: Prop 19 Marijuana Initiative in Dead Heat

California's Proposition 19 tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative is in a statistical dead heat, according to a Fox News Poll released Tuesday. The poll, taken last Friday, had the electorate split 47-46 against the measure, well within the poll's three-point margin of error.

Fox released no cross-tabs, so there are no breakdowns by race, age, gender, political party, ideology, or location.

The poll showed both Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Democratic US senate candidate Barbara Boxer pulling ahead of Republican challengers Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Other polls have shown strong support for Prop 19 among Democratic voters, even though Brown, Boxer, and most Democratic elected officials oppose the initiative. If a Brown/Boxer surge reflects improved prospects for Democratic turnout, that would be good news for Prop 19, which is favored 2-1 among Democratic voters but opposed by the same margin by Republicans.

Even with the Fox News Poll showing Prop 19 trailing by one and a Reuters/Ipsos poll two weeks ago showing it trailing by 10, the Talking Points Memo Polltracker average of all polls this year still shows Prop 19 leading by 46.8% to 44.5%. Of all the polls conducted since the beginning of September, only the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed it losing. All the other polls showed Prop 19 in the lead, although only one of them had it over 50%.

Get out the vote efforts will be critical between now and November 2, just two weeks from now. To get involved, visit  our latest action alert and follow the links. You don't need to be in California to volunteer for Prop 19; all you need is a phone.

United States

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