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 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. 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 is 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.
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The answer to that concern of "moms"

An ad campaign that shows what it is like in prison and asking mothers if that is where they want their children (teen or adult) to end up if said children should get caught, someday, with a little bit of cannabis. Even a few days in jail is far worse for ANYONE than getting high on legal pot would be, and a prison sentence will ruin a life more thoroughly than use of cannabis ever will.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

PS: I'm the mother of three and the grandmother of eight.

I hope to god that this

I hope to god that this initiative has a serious plan for advertising, getting the word out, educating the public, and getting this debate out of the shadows and into the mainstream media.

Millions of dollars will be spent opposing this, so more millions will be needed to support it.

primus's picture

Alcohol prohibition began

Alcohol prohibition began because the women feared their drunken husbands and resented the money spent on alcohol which robbed their families of resources. Alcohol prohibition ended because the women feared the damage to their husbands from bootleg alcohol and because their children found it so easy to get during prohibition. When the women of the nation decide to do something, they block vote and whatever they want will become reality. Unless we appeal to the women and convince them that their children are the ones who suffer under the yoke of prohibition, and that ending prohibition is the only way to 'save the children', this initiative will not pass.

Support for criminals

Prohibition is only good for the black market, and law enforcement, it makes both a living. But it also supports an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Parents, especially mothers,

Parents, especially mothers, have been drilled with government propaganda that the black market keeps drugs away from their kids. This is far from the truth; and even a danger. Despite what the government may have you think, marijuana being a "controlled" substance is a farce. The marijuana marketplace is out of control in the hands of mostly criminals who prey on the weak. And this means children. If marijuana were legalized, like California is proposing, mainstream business would take over, or overfill the supply gap, so that it could be controlled by legitimate concerns like any drug store or liquor store is today. The black market could not compete once the marketplace is saturated with legal cannabis. Strict laws could be set in place for people selling illegally to a minor. So it would drive criminals out of the business. So these same criminals would not be selling to a child on a playground, they would lose the control of the market.

In order for California to pass, Oaksterdam has to have commercials demonstrating the danger prohibition presents to children. The old propaganda needs to be squashed because people will continue to vote for what is in the best interests of their family. And unless people in general can see the 'light' we are going to have more of the same.

Proof?

Links to news stories reporting this would be very much appreciated.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

1. The purpose of

1. The purpose of prohibition is to protect the interests of the Tobackgo industry which depend on continuing to market the hot burning overdose cash cow $igarette which will disappear once cannabis is legalized and with it the vaporizers and one-hitters which cannabis users have been turning to and which, adopted also by tobackgo users, would replace rolling papers, hugely reducing tobacco purchases even if most or all smokers avoided quitting.

2. Criminal arrest and penalties is meant to terrorize families of any children that investigate cannabis so that panicky parents will harshly reprimand and punish over cannabis, leaving only tobackgo as something rebellious but "safe" to experiment with. If the child takes up $igarettes they say, Well. maybe it means he'll settle down and get a job."

3. Acquisition of a disgracing arrest record will disqualify the child for a high paying career, angering the parents who have been counting on high family income in their own aging years, and leading to vengeful attitudes and breakdown of trust within the family, so that social destruction results which can conveniently be blamed on cannabis as something "harmful to families", leaving only tobackgo legal and "safe".

4. The reduction in options for high-paying careers leads to those who favor cannabis being generally the part of society which has the least money to hire, bribe or lobby lawyers, cops, or politicians and determine the course of society, thus the pro-tobackgo, pro-prohibition crowd wins elections and controls legislation.

5. Understandably women are more worried. When families break down, or children "get in trouble", or a young married man "makes a mistake" and loses qualification to have a good-paying job, the wife is blamed and snooted and scolded by peers and parents.

6. Tobackgo is the Performance Enhancing Drug of the spy, the narc and the watchdog and leads to a society of guards who earn a living by staying awake and being vigilant instead of imaginative. Cannabis users are an example of a convenient target for those whose income is based on ratting on somebody. This feedback loop creates an impression of efficiency which makes observors conclude the system is logical.

7. Note that Republicans are some 20 points more anti-cannabis-legalization than Democrats and their candidates receive more Big 2WackGo campaign money. The "Conservative" Jesse Helms was also the leading legislation czar for the tobackgo industry. John Boehner has a friend named Fish who works for the tobackgo lobbying conspiracy. Rush Limbaugh brags about smoking cigars in his broadcast studio. Michael Savage says "Marijuana is the most dangerous of all drugs." Michael Medved talks of "potheads" and says marijuana will produce a generation that is more "stupid".

Washington poll

on the legaization initiative (I-1068) puts pro votes at 52%, con votes at 35%:
http://elections.firedoglake.com/2010/06/02/washington-state-favors-mari...

Looks like WA might have a better chance of being the first state to out and out legalize cannabis for adult use, with no restrictions (single issue requirement for initiatives in WA). The proposed law is simple and clear, while the poll question was limited to only part of it:

both the poll and initiative use the phrase “remove state civil and criminal penalties.” The poll ended that phrase with “for use or possession of marijuana,” while the initiative itself elaborates: “for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana. Marijuana would no longer be defined as a ‘controlled substance.”)

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Vote NO. It's a bad, creepy bill

This is a prohibition bill masquerading as a legalization bill. Prop 215 hero Dennis Peron and other movement insiders OPPOSE this bill: http://vodpod.com/watch/3230641-dennis-peron-on-tax-regulate

Please read the text of the bill: http://www.taxcannabis.org/index.php/pages/initiative/

Here are some of the more heinous provisions of this supposed "legalization" bill:

* No smoking in public. So much for outdoor festivals, parks, concerts, etc. You could get arrested.
* No smoking "in the presence of minors." Are you a parent? You can't legally smoke at home and can be arrested if you do.
* Give cannabis to someone 18-21: 6 months in jail. So a 19-year-old veterans coming back from war can be arrested unless he has the $100-150 for a medical cannabis recommendation.
* Give cannabis to someone under 18: 3, 5, or 7 YEARS in jail (for a benign plant!)
* Restricts cultivation to a 5' x 5' area: Great opportunity for a setup.

I will never support any bill that gives the police the option to send cannabis users to jail. Are you an anti-war protester who smokes pot at home? They can go after you with the excuse that you "endangered you kids."

Furthermore, cannabis is a plant and a medicine. We don't tax other plants and we don't tax medicines. Taxation gives government an excuse to insert themselves between you and your medicine -- and to arrest and imprison those who don't pay taxes on this plant.

This bill is supported by Richard Lee of Oaksterdam University, and it appears to be a major land grab on his part. Voter initiatives are notoriously hard to undo; if this passes, we'll be stuck with the War on Marijuana for many years to come. Please don't be deceived; this bill is bad news.

borden's picture

If you support prohibition..

If you support prohibition, vote no on this initiative. News flash: We're not going to get everything we want the first time around. In the meantime people are getting arrested for marijuana offenses more than 700,000 times a year, many of them facing jail or even prison, with all the horrible and sometimes deadly things that go along with that.

If this Legalization Initiative passes, things will be enormously better than they are now, and then we'll move them further.

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

Fortunately

Washington's initiative has none of those problems. It would legalize cannabis for anyone the age of 18 and over; no tax is proposed in the initiative; and it allows for legal cultivation, possession, use, transportation, transfer and sale of cannabis; also, it does not restrict when or where one may use, sell, or grow. It truly creates the greatest liberty one could desire concerning this currently illicit drug.

Unfortunately, in Washington the legislature may alter an initiative passed by the voters after two years. Hopefully, during those two years the benefits will be many and drawbacks few, so they'll leave it the hell alone.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

I'd vote for this initiative in a heartbeat if I could

Not that the problems listed above aren't significant issues (though I imagine parents can smoke in their own home as long as it's behind closed doors) but either California makes a breakthrough this year or our enemies will be cheering their asses off. Sure hope it doesn't lose because of people thinking like you, and holding out for more than is realistic at the moment.
Legalization will help cannabis to be judged fairly and knowledgeably and once that happens improvements in the law should not be that difficult. Once its thorough superiority to alcohol in not causing violence is more widely acknowledged (yes, I know, it's already as obvious as can be), we can argue that the tax on cannabis should be less than the tax on alcohol, or none at all, not more. Passing this initiative would be a giant leap forward, not just for California, or this country, and I can only shake my head at the prospect of any cannabis supporter voting against it.

Initiatives are difficult to change

I am a student at Oaksterdam and was sure I would be voting for Tax and Regulate...then I found that Dennis Peron has some very good arguments against its passage, and I am starting to lean that way.

Once passed, a California initiative is VERY difficult to rethink. Now is the time to be sure that we can live with the fine print of this. Better to keep trying until we get it right, than to saddle ourselves with something we may regret later. Just because we have a shot at passing it does not make it good law.

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