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NEW POLL: Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, I-502, Holds Huge Lead

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director September 12, 2012


    A new poll just released by SurveyUSA, shows Washington State’s Initiative 502 is maintaining its commanding lead heading into November. The latest survey data has likely voters in Washington supporting I-502 by a large margin, 57% of respondents stated they planned on voting yes, 34% said they would vote no, and 9% are undecided. Worth noting is, unlike previous polling in other states, I-502 does not seem to have a glaring gap when it comes to support from female voters. 57% of women said they support the measure alongside 58% of men.

    This is a slight increase in support over SurveyUSA’s previous poll, which had support at 55%, opposition at 32%, and 13% undecided. You can view more details on this latest survey here.

    A state initiative would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession for people 21 and over. It would remove state criminal and civil penalties for limited possession of marijuana, impose an excise tax on marijuana sales and earmark some revenue for substance abuse prevention, research and education. Should the measure be enacted into law?

    WA Poll

    85 Responses to “NEW POLL: Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, I-502, Holds Huge Lead”

    1. [...] Washington is one of three states (with Oregon and Colorado) which will have an initiative on marijuana legalization on the ballot in November, and as Reason 24/7 noted its Republican Senate candidate, Michael Baumgartner, became the first state-wide candidate to endorse the measure. Washington’s governor is not running for re-election, but both the Democrat and Republican vying to replace him oppose the initiative, with the Republican candidate, Rob McKenna, going so far as to say legalizing marijuana is not a states’ rights issue and that there’s “federal supremacy when it comes to laws like this.” Bizarrely, McKenna won’t even say what he’d do if the initiative passed, given his antagonistic stance, writing it off as not having a chance to pass. A poll taken in the state last month shows the initiative enjoying support from 57 percent of respondents. [...]

    2. [...] Washington is one of three states (with Oregon and Colorado) which will have an initiative on marijuana legalization on the ballot in November, and as Reason 24/7 noted its Republican Senate candidate, Michael Baumgartner, became the first state-wide candidate to endorse the measure. Washington’s governor is not running for re-election, but both the Democrat and Republican vying to replace him oppose the initiative, with the Republican candidate, Rob McKenna, going so far as to say legalizing marijuana is not a states’ rights issue and that there’s “federal supremacy when it comes to laws like this.” Bizarrely, McKenna won’t even say what he’d do if the initiative passed, given his antagonistic stance, writing it off as not having a chance to pass. A poll taken in the state last month shows the initiative enjoying support from 57 percent of respondents. [...]

    3. Tim Butter says:

      I am a 49 year old male that has had a major improvement in my life due to using marijuana instead of wine for my pain due to arthritic hip, (replaced), and spondilyosis of the spine. I have since lost 150# and am in the best shape I have been in, in the past 10 years… While I do not approve of workers using marijuana in jobs where safety is a question, I am for an individuals right to persue life, liberty and thier own happiness. What right does any government have in taking away one of natures remedies for aging and injury? What right does the government or any individual have in hampering another humans pursuit of happiness? may God bless the citizens of WA state as they head to the polls. Your vote will make a difference in many lives. Make the choice for liberty. Thank you

    4. Glen Johnson says:

      This is wrong! The DWI law in this is going to ruin too many lives! Think and read the whole initiative.

    5. Bill Smith says:

      Your life would be ruined if you got a DWI while driving stoned under the current laws. At least this gives people the opportunity to smoke at home without fear of legal issues.

      It’s time to tax what a lot of people are doing anyways. If this is successfully, I predict many states will follow suit once they see the increased ax revenue.

    6. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    7. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    8. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    9. Tonydfixer says:

      It is no ones business what I do in the privacy of my home. If I feel that using cannabis is a benefit for my old bones I should be able to. I do not know where people get off judging me, if I do not harm anyone.I should be able to do whatever I want to.
      These candidates that run for office we the people employ to do a job for us, if we want something by popular vote they are not in office to veto it,What do they think they are gods, or are more intelligent? If the people in office do not do our bidding, we shove them out! I am tired of hearing politicians talking like their some kind of supreme being. Just remember them, then cut them out next election fairly soon the elected ones will get the idea that they work for us!

    10. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    11. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    12. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    13. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    14. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    15. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    16. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    17. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    18. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological [...]

    19. JS says:

      There are too many people that are totally clueless concerning the DUI provisions. I work as a DUI defense attorney and right now the prosecutor’s don’t care what level of THC a person has, they charge it as a DUI under the affected by prong and apply liberal state patrol embellishment to get convictions. A legal limit on THC might actually reduce the amount of DUI prosecutions as jurors would actually have a frame of reference. 502 is a good initiative. Think baby steps, you can’t wait 30 years for a perfect law that never comes.

    20. [...] diverse group of public figures across a range of ideological perspectives. And according to recent polls, the initiatives in Washington and Colorado appear to be quite popular among [...]

    21. GaryB says:

      If pot is legalized, what will happen to current laws?
      The State will certainly not want someone trying to muscle in on their racket and the penalties for trying to do so will more than likely become extreme, in my opinion.
      They will send a message, as it’s all about money and not about who and how many are incarcerated, they could care less.
      Anyone caught selling will get slammed.
      Sounds good, but I believe that when ever Prosecutors get on TV and endorse something there is something shady going on.

      [Editor's note: Your concerns on non-sensible as consumers/sellers/growers in WA are already "slammed" by prohibition laws. Are consumers of alcohol slammed? No, only if they misuse or abuse the substance. The same thing for cannabis once it is legalized....

      BTW, have you only now just discovered that 'it is all about the money'?]

    22. The inconvenient truth says:

      “At least this gives people the opportunity to smoke at home without fear of legal issues.”

      “A legal limit on THC might actually reduce the amount of DUI prosecutions as jurors would actually have a frame of reference. ”

      It is clear that few commentators have any idea just how little 5.00 nanograms per millileter actually is. It would take several days to a week to lower blood levels to this concentration from the consumption of a single reefer, which will mean a host of new enforcement, insurance, employment, and incarceration expenses that had not been anticipated, particularly since many may use what they would then regard as a state legal substance and then face a nightmare scenario for those who may drive several days later.

      However, perhaps these additional burdens onto the State would still save money given how expensive the current system is both in terms of lives and money, particularly when factoring in how current laws benefit crime syndicates and those who abuse the public trust in their enforcement.

      [Paul Armentano responds: You wrote: "It is clear that few commentators have any idea just how little 5.00 nanograms per millileter actually is. It would take several days to a week to lower blood levels to this concentration from the consumption of a single reefer." False. After cannabis inhalation, THC blood levels typically fall below this proposed threshold within a matter of hours. See:
      http://www.cprslaw.com/documents/BLOOD_CANNIBINOIDS_MODEL_I_BY_HUESTIS_1992.pdf. Carboxy THC, which is an inert metabolite present in urine, has a longer half-life but is exempt under I-502.]

    23. L Henderson says:

      How smart do we have to be? to realize what it takes to dissolve the criminal middle man ??

    24. Josh MacIntyre says:

      this 502 shoots down small business for the people and gives it to the state. the marijuana will cost too much because of state tax and state employees. so the underground market and medical will still thrive. the only thing this does is give the state more revenue through more DWI.

      [Editor's note: Non sense. Where in the initiative language supposedly hurts small business? And if it is these small businesses that keep overcharging consumers and patients for cannabis, why not have larger more efficiently run businesses produce and sell more affordable cannabis?

      Why should consumers be forced to go to mom and pop operations??

      Economic and market inefficiencies, along with exaggerations about DUID fines, are not valid or sane reasons to want cannabis prohibition to continue in WA.

      -DUID canard-
      Where are all the DUID fines over the past 12 years in WA for medical cannabis patients with the current ZERO standard for DUID (as compared to the 5ng standard proposed in the initiative)?

      If DUID was a genuine concern for police in WA, they'd already be feasting on all the current medical cannabis patients who drive with the current zero nanogram standard.

      Anyone who claims they're concerned about the proposed DUID standards to such a high degree that they'd consider voting against a legalization initiative are either confused or have been misled.]

    25. [...] and Washington’s pot ballot measures appear to be quite popular with voters, according to recent [...]

    26. [...] Altieri, “NEW POLL: Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, I-502, Holds Huge Lead” http://blog.norml.org/2012/09/12/new-poll-washingtons-marijuana-legalization-initiative-i-502-holds-… Norml, September 12, 2012 Bookmark the [...]

    27. eric says:

      LETS GO PEOPLE! VOTE YES WE NEED THIS!!!!!

    28. [...] has had two previous polls from October and September showing I-502 winning 55% to 36% and 57% to 34% [...]

    29. [...] of voters still undecided. In neighboring Washington, a similar more restrictive initiative titled Initiative 502 is seen as more likely to pass with polls from a month ago showing I-502 passing with a 57%-34%-9% [...]

    30. [...] Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse groupacross a range of ideological [...]

    31. Josh MacIntyre says:

      the editor to this blog is not hearing any valid views on voting no! he will only post things he can attack. and will not post facts. the facts are that Colorado shot down the 5 nano gram limit 3 times because it is not scientifically correct. and there actually is not a number at all for DUI for marijuana. there aren’t any deaths ever recorded. the only reason the DUI law was implemented was to get this law to pass and of course cause more state revenue. even though it will go on countless medical patients permanent records witch will make it hard to find jobs. this is not going to make cannabis more affordable. more people will get a medical authorization. the dispensary are not taxed or touched at all. while the state stores will hold a 25% tax. they will not be able to compete with dispensary or street prices because the cost of grow and tax will outweigh the profit margin. lets be real here! it does not grow outside in Washington state. so the numbers are not gonna work. people will still go to dispensary’s witch are untaxed. and they will go to their neighborhood pot dealer witch is untaxed! thank you!

      [Editor's note: Colorado voters have never been asked to vote on cannabis DUID laws (quasi-govt panels have tabled DUID regulations, not rejected them) and what is your complaint if patients have access to untaxed medicine?

      Enjoy the new law...fix it where applicable...stop whining.]

    32. Josh MacIntyre says:

      There is no complaint. or whining. the law is just useless. you can have an oz of marijuana. if you get caught in the car with it chances are you are a regular smoker and you got a DUI. so driving with it is dangerous. before a person 17-20 years of age would get a small fine infraction for marijuana and now there is a zero tolerance so its a charge on the permanent record. now its an even bigger penalty if you grow it. stop and look and the punishments are worse that before. all this is just the state trying to stick there pocket in something that shouldn’t have a pocket! it should be completely legal!!

      [Editor's note: It was never lawful or wise to travel in WA with any amount of cannabis whether one was a patient or not, pre or post I-502; cannabis prohibition policy should not be shaped by teenage use and the penalty for growing cannabis without a license is not greater under legalization than prohibition.

      You call the voters' choice to end cannabis prohibition "useless", but states attorneys in WA are already dropping hundreds of cases that happened prior to the vote. The people who just had their charges dropped and the taxpayers in WA who now don't have to pay for their expensive journey into the criminal justice system don't think that the voters' will to change the policy is useless.]

    33. Josh MacIntyre says:

      I have been pulled over multiple times with cannabis prior to this. I am a medical patient so I was never bothered. I can bet that it will be very different now because the state has the go ahead to crack down. you need to understand that police are revenue writers. sure they dropped alot of charges and I applaud that! but this is because these petty charges to not increase state funds. but DUI does increase state revenue. so they will be all over it. if you cant drive with it? if you cant smoke it in public? if you cant grow it? This law did nothing but make it legal to posses a oz of marijuana in your home while stiffening the other penalty’s. this is all about the state getting revenue. 502 is broken and useless unless the cops find some marijuana in your house. or you are stopped walking down the street with it. Your arguments are petty compared to the very large broken issues with 502. people say laws aren’t perfect. but meanwhile this law waits to be changed. countless people will get DUI on their permanent records witch will make it hard to find jobs, and cause financial distress.

    34. [...] is up for a vote this fall in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.  Colorado and Washington look like pretty good [...]

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