Oregon Marijuana Measure Still Trails in Late Poll

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #757)

Measure 80, Oregon's marijuana legalization initiative, continues to trail in the polls as the clock ticks ever closer to Election Day. According to a new poll conducted for The Oregonian and released Tuesday, the measure is losing among likely voters, with 49% opposed and 42% in favor.

[image:1 align:right]Of the three marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot next week -- the other two are Colorado and Washington -- Oregon's Measure 80 is the most radical, calling for outright repeal of the state's marijuana laws and the creation of a commission to oversee the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

It is also the least well-funded. While Colorado and Washington are seeing multi-million dollar legalization campaigns, the big donor money has stayed out of Oregon. The reasons for that include a lack of favorable early polling, the lateness of Measure 80 in making the ballot (it only did so in July), and lingering controversies over the reputation of medical marijuana entrepreneur Paul Stanford, Measure 80's chief proponent. Stanford came up with enough money to get Measure 80 on the ballot, but not enough to finance an advertising campaign.

The latest poll shows Measure 80 with majority support among Democrats (55%), but not independents (41%) or Republicans (23%). It also garners majority support among voters under 35, but not among any other age group. Among voters over 65, who vote heavily, only 30% support Measure 80, while 62% are opposed.

Another key demographic that is dragging the measure down is women. While men split almost evenly on the issue, a majority of women (52%) oppose it, while only 37% support it.

Still, Yes on 80 campaign spokesman Roy Kaufmann told The Oregonian it isn't over yet. Pollsters tend to undercount younger voters who are harder to reach, he said, and older voters may be reluctant to admit they favor voting for "an issue that's still considered by many to be taboo."  The campaign "still has work to do, but we're within fighting distance," he said.

The poll was conducted October 25 through 28 by Seattle-based Elway polling and surveyed nearly a thousand likely voters statewide. It has a margin of error of +/- 5%.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Uncle Bob (not verified)

One week out and still Holder has not spoken out against the initiatives despite former drug czars urging him to do so.  Could it be that the the initiatives are expected to pass and they want to use these three states as a testing ground for the post-prohibition era?  I am more interested in these initiatives at this point than the actual presidential election.  I feel like exciting history is about to be made on November 6th, and I think Oregon's bill will pass too despite its trailing in the polls.

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 8:17am Permalink
jway (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

Might be the closeness of the election is keeping them quiet. They just don't want to offend any potential voters (especially in a swing state like CO). CO and WA might get to legalize marijuana just because it's a close election! lol

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 2:21pm Permalink
Business Casual (not verified)

Come on, Oregon. Put down the bong and pick up a ballot.

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 11:35pm Permalink
Todd Lewis (not verified)

The problematic issue of Paul Stanford's reputation is steeped in facts and NOT in controversies. One only needs to see all of the legal judgments (Canvasmaker, McKinney, et al.) against him. One only needs to recall the swindles perpetrated against Ed Rosenthal, Woody Harrelson, and Jon Fishman. When the big money donors (Soros, Nadelman, Lewis) declined to support Measure 80, they declined for specious reasons: late qualification of the ballot measure, poor poll support, etc. Given the difficulty of pro legalization measure making the ballot, it would have been in their interest to support it and to see a triple play of Washington, Colorado, and Oregon passing their measures. But they didn't. Why? The real reason? None other than Paul Stanford. And as long as Stanford's fingerprints are on any measure in Oregon, the difficulty of drawing serious support will always remain. And no matter how many periphrastic rationalizations Oregon's legalization supporters use, the facts behind Paul Stanford will be the elephant in the room.
Thu, 11/01/2012 - 6:52am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Todd Lewis (not verified)

And the relatively radical initiative before the Oregon voters, I'd consider 45% of the vote in Oregon a moral victory and a sign that a less far reaching proposal could pass. And I thank Stanford for his generosity and thank everyone there for their efforts. 

As far as Colorado goes, legalization hasn't lost support in the last couple of weeks, like it did in CA in 2010. Two state legalization victories, one of them without noxious provisions, would be sweet, to say the least. And I've got my eyes on Detroit voters too.

Mon, 11/05/2012 - 2:17pm Permalink

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