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Swing States: Super-Majorities Endorse Medical Cannabis Access, Men Support Broader Legalization

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 14, 2015

    ballot_box_leafSuper-majorities of voters believe that medical cannabis should be legal, and most men additionally support legalizing marijuana for all adults, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University Swing State poll.

    Pollsters gauged support for marijuana law reform in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

    Florida voters backed legalizing cannabis therapy by a margin of 87 percent to 12 percent. A majority of male voters (57 percent) also supported broader legalization, while only 49 percent of women agreed.

    Reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for a pair of potential ballot drives in 2016. The first, backed by United For Care, seeks to permit the physician-authorized use of cannabis. The second effort, sponsored by Regulate Florida and NORML of Florida, seeks to regulate the plant’s production, consumption, and sales to adults.

    A 2014 amendment that sought to permit cannabis therapy garnered 58 percent of vote — two percent shy of the threshold necessary for passage in Florida.

    Ninety percent of Ohio voters say that marijuana should be legal for medicinal purposes. Fifty-nine percent of male voters additionally backed legalizing the plant for social use versus only 47 percent of female voters.

    Ohio voters will decide this November on a proposed ballot measure (Issue 3, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment) to regulate the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis for both medical and retail purposes. The measure also permits adults to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis (up to four plants yielding no more than 8 ounces of usable product at any one time) at home. State lawmakers opposed to the plan have placed a competing measure, Issue 2, on the November ballot that seeks to prohibit state regulators from permitting the limited production of “any Schedule I controlled substance.” If voters approved both measures, Issue 2 states that the “entire proposed constitutional [marijuana] amendment shall not take effect.”

    In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of voters back medicalizing marijuana. Fifty-two percent of men also support legalization, versus 43 percent of women voters.

    Senate lawmakers this year approved compromised medical marijuana legislation, but the measure remains stalled in the House. Separate senate legislation, Senate Bill 528, to permit the adult possession and retail sale of marijuana has not yet been heard by lawmakers.

    10 Responses to “Swing States: Super-Majorities Endorse Medical Cannabis Access, Men Support Broader Legalization”

    1. RUT says:

      Perhaps some lawmakers will try to have competing legislation to steal votes from a voter initiative. In FLORIDA in the last election the initiative was defeated by attacking the way the initiative is written claiming the plant may be good but the law is bad. This was followed by an add with to little girls on their way to school having to work their way around a folding sign on the sidewalk with a marijuana leaf and store name on it. SOME LAW MAKERS WANT TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK LIKE THEY ARE GIVING POT A GOOD CHANCE BUT ARE REALLY STICKING THEIR FOOT OUT TO TRIP IT. See we legalized pot in Florida”CHARLOTTES WEB”. If you have cancer and there is a full moon and high tide you can use medical pot. Basically FLORIDA can still arrest 99.98% of the people.PALM BEACH COUNTY CLAIMS THEY HAVE DECRIMINALIZED POT.
      Then the details:The police can decide if he wants to arrest you or not. The police claim they only have to give you one chance. If you get caught a second time they can nail you. THIS IS A PHONY WAY TO DECRIMINALIZE. If you are grabbed once they are going to flag you for future arrest. You will be marked.

    2. Raven says:

      Not too suprizing, since church ladies led the original “Temperance Movement” that brought prhibition 1.0 in order to use the law to stop their husbands from drinking.

      Naturally, women charged with raising the kids, doing house work and working a second job are more fearful of this kind of social change, since the kids are going to have to grow up in this new world.

      additionally, women are more likely to want their little worlds to continue to live under this same illusion of safety. Their are more reasons fo this demographic divide, however, I don’t want to write a book here. If the female demographic could be convinced that “It’s going to be alright, then the poll numbers might look more favorable.

    3. Fireweed says:

      Does Issue 2 necessarily negate every part of issue 3? Doesn’t issue 3 still remove penalties for adults possessing and using marijuana even if the monopoly portion gets precluded by issue 2? Seems if they have that a clause in the issue, it seems a bit unfair and purposely designed to sabotage the voters’ will ):-(

      [Paul Armentano responds: Issue 2 states that, if approved, the “entire proposed constitutional [marijuana] amendment shall not take effect.” Certainly, if both Issue 2 and Issue 3 are to pass, the issue will need to be ultimately be resolved in court.]

    4. Julian says:

      If this isnt any indication that our message is being heard loud and clear, I don’t know what is: I just received a reply from the last Senator I would ever think would be cooperative with ending civil asset forfeitures, which is a root of evil in the CSAct and corrupt funding of city budgets and slush funds forblaw enforcement… And here in my not so swing state of Republican Texas! Take a look at THIS;

      “United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510

      Dear Julian,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding civil asset forfeiture. Input from fellow Texans significantly informs my decision-making and empowers me to better represent the State.

      It is wrong for the government to confiscate anyone’s property on the mere suspicion that it may be connected to a crime. Our justice system is supposed to operate under the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” yet civil asset forfeiture too often twists this assumption to “guilty until proven innocent.” In the past, I have voted against confirming judges who fail to protect property rights, and I hope to have the opportunity to address civil asset forfeiture abuse here in the Senate as well.

      Thank you again for sharing your views with me. Please feel free to contact me in the future about any issue important to your family. It is an honor to serve you and the people of Texas.

      For Liberty,

      Senator Ted Cruz

      Austin Office
      300 E. 8th, Suite #961
      Austin, TX 78701
      Phone: (512) 916-5834″

      While I remain skeptic of Cruz, his flip flop on drug policy and his nomination of judges, this is clearly a representation that our movement to end the drug war is gaining momentum in a powerful way. If this is how the ground is shifting in Texas, Ohio is on the highway to freedom!

    5. Mark I. says:

      In a courtroom with a level field of debate? Medical cannabis is not even allowed to be mentioned during courtroom debate. Prohibition never works for the people, it just allows the judicial system to ignore the liability of violent crimes and their silent victims.

    6. Anonymous says:

      MIY Make-It-Yourself remedy to dilemmity well detailed by @Raven–

      1. Transform at least one room of your house, or basement, or in a near neighbor’s building, into a Creative Reuse Workspace, with (a) shelving to stack transformable materials near the (b) bench where you can sit or stand, two or more together, (c) showing each other variant ways to do a tenfingers project.

      Project 1: solve the “What about the children” issue by making sure every child is one-hitter-literate, i.e. have a 25-mg-single-toke utensil in the house so every child is pro-immunized for life against ever getting hooked on 500-mg Joint, Blunt, $igarette etc. H(ot)B(urning)O(verdose)M(onoxide) $moking Paper.

      2. Every individual needs to know how to make the utensil out of #40 screen, 1/4″ flexible pvc tube, a socket wrench or hose nipple, some 2-braided telephone wire leading to a 2-inch safety pin, a piece of wood or two; use the utensil– easy-learn low-heat slow-suck method), and maintain, repair for 800 years.

      3. Shelving: first step is set up and equip a workroom, bench, select priceworthy tools at local resale markets, read up thoroughly on on line on all these subjects. Have handsaws including electric circle saw fort cutting, trimming, scuffing boards. Make shelving out of used boards that were thrown away and rescued from the trash, therefore not paying any arschloch to cut a living tree down. Specialize in two-space units, board at bottom, middle and top, about a yard wide, foot deep, spaces a foot high, or similar, on which to park the made parts and materials to make saleable new product from.

      4. Specialize in education toys made out of mostly wood and other products such as used bottle plastic, wire etc. Make a notched stick which if you rub it against something like as saw o9r file, it makes an amusing rattly noise which helps gr90an8ups around the house know what the kid is up to.

    7. dk says:

      @Julian My letter from John Cornyn of Texas stated pretty much the opposite of Cruz. Cornyn fully supports the civil asset forfeiture program just as it is.

    8. Todd says:

      @dk and Julian
      We have the Bill of Rights for a very good reason, that reason being it is all We the People have in writing as assurances from our government. The 5th Amendment says: “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

    9. Julian says:

      @dk & Todd;
      My focus now is on reforming and/or removing civil asset forfeitures and bad federal grants in order to improve our Democracy. Here in Texas, I am tired of watching Sherrif’s Associations and city budgets tied to disproportionate fees and confiscations and unconstitutional suit of property continually lobby and threaten out our marijuana reform laws by purchasing and intimidating our State Congressman. This is the worst example of corruption set by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970; Counties and City governments have adapted these horrible, violent unconstitutional punishments and fines for profit for too long which is why being active at the local level is so important to shed disinfecting light on why legalization has taken so long.

    10. OldHippy says:

      Cannabis users will continue to have problems of acceptance the society as long as the stoner stereotypes persist. Take this from an eighty year old hippy. Progressive laws alone will not change attitudes. Rather than terms such as dope heads, Cheech & Chong act-alikes, freaks and dopers, etc., or other denigrating terms in the eye of society, we could start using such terms as creativitors, sensenhancers or perceplifiers, anything but those demeaning terms.

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