Most Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Lead Solidly In Polls
Four of the six statewide marijuana initiatives appearing on the November 2012 ballot are solidly favored among likely voters.
Voters in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – will be deciding on marijuana-specific ballot measures this November. In Massachusetts, voters will decide on Question 3, a statewide proposal that seeks to allow for the physician-recommended possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Arkansas voters will decide on a similar measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012. Montana voters will decide on Initiative Referendum 124, which is a referendum on Senate Bill 423 – a 2011 measure that seeks to restrict the state’s 2004, voter approved medical cannabis law.
Colorado voters will decide on Amendment 64, which immediately allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those persons age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retailers. Oregon voters will decide on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, which provides for the state-licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The measure does not impose state-licensing or taxation requirements upon those who wish to cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. Finally, in Washington, voters will decide on Initiative 502, which seeks to regulate the production and sale of limited amounts of marijuana for adults. The measure also removes criminal penalties specific to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use.
According to the most recently available polling, several of these measures hold firm leads among likely voters. In Colorado, 47 percent of respondents say that they are backing Amendment 64, according to a September Public Policy poll of 1,001 likely voters. Thirty-eight percent of likely voters said that they opposed the measure and 15 percent were undecided. [UPDATE: Just released polling now shows the measure leading by a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent.]
In Massachusetts, a majority of likely voters support Question 3. A Public Policy Polling survey released in August reported that 58 percent of respondents favor the measure versus only 27 percent who oppose it.
In Montana, a majority of voters do not support enacting limits on the state’s medical marijuana law, according to a just-published poll of 656 likely voters.
And in Washington, nearly six out of ten voters say they intend to decide in favor of I-502, according to a Survey USA poll released this week. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they will vote ‘yes’ on the measure, versus only 34 percent who said they would vote ‘no.’ Nine percent remain undecided.
In Oregon, a July poll not specific to the initiative conducted by Public Policy Polling reported that only 43 percent of Oregonians believed that cannabis use should be legal, versus 46 percent who endorsed it remaining illegal. No recent polling is available in Arkansas.
NORML has additional details about this November’s statewide and municipal ballot proposals at our ‘Smoke the Vote’ webpage here. September 14, 2012