Poll Shows Voters Split on Legalizing Marijuana

Jan 5, 2012

A new statewide poll shows vot­ers evenly divided on the ques­tion of legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana as the state Leg­is­la­ture takes up the ques­tion next week. The Elway Research poll of 411 ran­domly selected vot­ers found 48 per­cent in favor and 45 per­cent opposed to legal­iza­tion, which is likely headed to the Novem­ber 2012 bal­lot in the form of Ini­tia­tive 502. The mar­gin of error is 5 per­cent­age points. The ini­tia­tive, run by a cam­paign called New Approach Wash­ing­ton, heads to the Leg­is­la­ture first, but will be on the pres­i­den­tial bal­lot unless law­mak­ers approve it. The sup­port soft­ened from an Elway poll in July, when 54 per­cent, asked a more gen­eral ques­tion about mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion, expressed sup­port. Poll­ster Stu­art Elway said that down­ward trend should con­cern ini­tia­tive spon­sors. Con­ven­tional wis­dom says an ini­tia­tive should start with sup­port in the mid-60s because unde­cided vot­ers usu­ally vote against bal­lot mea­sures. “If you’re a sup­porter, it’s going the wrong way,” he said. The ini­tia­tive would legal­ize and tax one-ounce sales of mar­i­juana to peo­ple 21 and over, and autho­rize privately-owned, state-licensed mar­i­juana retail stores and grow oper­a­tions. Wash­ing­ton vot­ers in 1998 allowed med­ical mar­i­juana for autho­rized patients, but they haven’t had a chance to vote on full legal­iza­tion. Elway said the cam­paign needs to sway women vot­ers, who were far less likely to sup­port legal­iza­tion (52% men, 43% women), and to ensure young vot­ers (69% of vot­ers under 35 sup­port) turn out to vote. Ali­son Hol­comb, cam­paign direc­tor for New Approach, noted the Elway poll ques­tion was broadly worded, with­out men­tion­ing pro­vi­sions in I-502 — includ­ing an esti­mated $215 mil­lion in mar­i­juana tax rev­enue ear­marked for health and drug-abuse pre­ven­tion pro­grams — that are pop­u­lar with vot­ers. “Our research over the years have shown us that vot­ers really care about what the details are,” she said. New Approach, using paid sig­na­ture gath­er­ers, turned in more than 341,000 sig­na­tures to the Wash­ing­ton Sec­re­tary of State in late Decem­ber. The prime oppo­si­tion thus far has been medical-marijuana patients, who say I-502′s driving-under-the-influence pro­vi­sions would inhibit their abil­ity to work and live while using legally autho­rized med­i­cine. Source: Seat­tle Times (WA) Author: Jonathan Mar­tin Pub­lished: Jan­u­ary 4, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 The Seat­tle Times Com­pany Con­tact: opinion@​seatimes.​com Web­site: http://​www​.seat​tle​times​.com/

25eb428897TITLE2.gif 150x112 Poll Shows Voters Split on Legalizing Marijuana

Poll Shows Vot­ers Split on Legal­iz­ing Marijuana

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