Newsbrief: Oakland Poll Shows Strong Support for Legalization of Marijuana 9/17/04

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press release from California NORML, http://www.canorml.org

A new poll conducted by David Binder Research shows unprecedentedly strong support for legalization of marijuana among Oakland voters.

The poll was commissioned by the campaign for Measure Z, the Oakland Cannabis Initiative, which would make private adult marijuana offenses the lowest enforcement priority and put the city on record in favor of taxed and regulated marijuana sales. Out of 400 likely voters, 65% said they were inclined to support Measure Z.

Surprisingly, the poll found that 70% of voters believe marijuana should be legalized, the largest margin for legalization ever recorded in any poll. A somewhat smaller majority, 64%, said marijuana should be decriminalized. Because of the sample size, the difference may not be statistically significant.

Only 18% of voters felt that legalizing marijuana would lead to increased use of "hard" drugs, while 61% felt that legalization would separate marijuana from the illicit market and discourage access to hard drugs. In addition, 73% of voters agreed that the drug war has been ineffective, costly and racist.

"This marks a turning point in public opinion," commented California coordinator Dale Gieringer, campaign chair of Measure Z. "Until now, the 'L-word' has been considered to be political poison. Drug warriors have sought to stigmatize their opponents as 'legalizers.' Now it turns out this label may be a compliment. Oaklanders have come to recognize that marijuana prohibition is bankrupt, and as with alcohol, the only sensible policy is legalization."

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Issue #354, 9/17/04 Editorial: What Is It About Opium? | Canada Cannabis Cauldron Bubbling Again | DEA Brings Traveling "Drugs = Terror" Exhibit to NYC as City Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary | Drugs and Sports: A New Arena for Drug Reformers? | Newsbrief: In Gotham Shocker, New York Post Calls for Repeal of Rockefeller Laws | Newsbrief: Drug Reformer Challenger Defeats Hard-Line District Attorney in Albany, New York | Newsbrief: Yes, Four Ounces of Marijuana at Home is Legal, Says Alaska Supreme Court | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Attacks Oregon Medical Marijuana Initiative | Newsbrief: Oakland Poll Shows Strong Support for Legalization of Marijuana | Newsbrief: South Africa to Reject Marijuana Decriminalization | Newsbrief: More Drug Executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Mexico Shuts Down Three "Youth Treatment" Centers, Deports Kids Back to US | The Reformer's Calendar
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