Latest CA Polls Show Big Boost In Prop. 19 Support

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 27, 2010

    Public support for California’s Prop. 19 — which would legalize the private adult use and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis, and allow local governments the option of regulating its commercial production and retail distribution — is up significantly, according to the latest statewide Field Poll, released on Sunday.

    According to the Poll, 49 percent of respondents say that they would vote ‘yes’ on 19 ‘if the election were being held today.’ 42 percent say that they would vote ‘no.’

    Self-identified Democrats, men, and non-partisan voters were most likely to back the measure.

    The latest Field Poll numbers mark a significant improvement from the firm’s previous poll, conducted in July, which reported only 44 percent of respondents voting ‘yes’ and 48 percent voting ‘no.’

    Two additional polls released last week also emphasize voter support for Prop. 19. A September 22 Public Policy Polling firm survey of 630 likely California voters found 47 percent of likely voters backed 19, versus 38 percent against. The most recent Survey USA poll of 569 California adults reported similar support, with 47 percent of respondents saying that they were ‘certain’ to back the measure, versus 43 percent opposed.

    PollTracker.com, a website that posts aggregates results of all of the polls conducted on this issue to date shows Prop. 19 leading by 47 percent to 40 percent.

    Speaking of Prop. 19, Dave Borden, Executive Director of StoptheDrugWar.org, recently posted an excellent commentary on the Huffington Post rebutting the myth that passage of Prop. 19 would somehow undermine medical marijuana in California. NORML has addressed this minority (and fallacious) opinion numerous times on this site and on the Audio Stash blog, but Dave really hits it out of the park here.

    Prop 19 Would Help — Not Hurt — Medical Marijuana Patients
    via Huffington Post

    [Excerpt: Read the full text HERE.]

    Are they misinformed or deliberately lying? I don’t know anymore.

    A group of medical marijuana dispensaries organized as the California Cannabis Association has come out against Prop 19, California’s “Tax and Regulate Cannabis” initiative to legalize marijuana.

    The coalition claims that Prop 19’s provisions giving local jurisdictions the power to regulate cannabis sales, including the right to choose whether to allow commercial or other outlets, would enable them to prohibit the sale of medical marijuana to patients, something that under California they currently can’t do.
    The claim is completely false.

    … Fortunately, only some medical marijuana people are so shortsighted as to oppose this historic and important measure. Harborside Health Center in Oakland, and the Berkeley Patients Group are among the top quality groups lending their support to Prop 19. But it’s still worth asking, why are some other medical marijuana providers opposing it?

    I say enough is enough. Whether they are doing it deliberately, or out of deliberate ignorance, they should stop spreading misinformation about Prop 19. Shame on the California Cannabis Association. And YES on PROP 19!

    I also have added my two cents to this ongoing debate. In particular, I’ve addressed the allegation expressed by the so-called ‘Stoners against Prop. 19‘ (and repeated by others) that argues, “Simply put, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative does not reflect most people’s ideas of what legalization would be.” Perhaps that may be true for a minority of reformers. But the conflict doesn’t lie with Prop. 19; it lies with some people’s ‘idea of what legalization should be.’

    Coming to Terms With Taxation, Regulation, and California’s Prop. 19
    via HighTimes.com

    [Excerpt: Read the full text HERE.]

    This November, California voters will decide on Proposition 19, which seeks to enact the most far-reaching marijuana law reforms anywhere in the United States. The immediate effect of Prop. 19, if passed, would be to provide legal protection to the individual marijuana consumer – that is the estimated 3.3 million Californians who are presently using marijuana for non-medical purposes.

    Yet as is apparent by the criticism voiced by some, there’s a minority of folks who wish to define cannabis legalization unconventionally. They would prefer that legalization be characterized as the absence of any regulation whatsoever. It’s ironic because, in truth, it is the present criminal prohibition of cannabis that is an unregulated free for all. Conventional legalization is just the opposite.

    It is counter-intuitive for some critics of Prop. 19 to advocate that marijuana be treated in a ‘legal’ manner, but then at the same time demand that it not be subject to regulation. Bottom line: all legal commodities are regulated in some manner and their retail production or sale is subject to taxation.

    For example, cell phones are legal to possess and use in California, but if an individual uses his or her cell phone while driving they are subject to legal sanctions and intervention by law enforcement.

    Possessing domesticated pets is legal in California and elsewhere, yet certain apartments and home rentals forbid tenants from having pets on the premises. Certain localities have even barred adults from possessing certain pets (e.g., pit bulls) all together.

    Water is legal, but it’s a product that is highly regulated by the government. The state taxes private individuals’ water use; it can add components like fluoride to the product without voter consent, and it can even sanction the private individual if their water use is greater than that deemed appropriate by the government (in times of water rationing). Yet, even with these rules and regulations, is there any organized outcry from the public claiming that water, pets, or cell phones ‘aren’t really legal?’

    Ditto for the subject of taxation. Gasoline is taxed at the state level, federal level, and there’s also an excise tax that is passed on to the consumer. Same with alcohol. There are a multitude of taxes that are charged to the consumer on his or her phone bill. How about the taxes tacked on to airline travel, which equal nearly 25 percent of the consumer’s total purchase price? The number of specific taxes and regulations sought to be imposed upon marijuana under Prop. 19 are arguably minimal in comparison to the taxes and regulations on many commodities consumers already use every day. In fact, under the proposition, an adult can grow marijuana themselves and avoid any taxes all together.

    Is there the possibility that under Prop. 19 some local governments might seek to over-regulate or over-tax certain aspects of the plant’s use or retail distribution? Of course. [Editor’s note: And that is why reformers will continue to need to be involved in the local democratic process after 19 passes.] But ultimately, the question is: what is the preferable policy for adult marijuana use – not the Utopian. Right now the state has the power of a gun to seize an adult’s marijuana – even marijuana that is used in the privacy of one’s home – and to sanction that adult with criminal prosecution and a criminal record if their use is for non-medical purposes. Under Prop. 19, an individual would no longer face these criminal sanctions for their private activities, as long as their private use was limited to possession and cultivation within certain limits. That is legalization. And in NORML’s opinion, that is a net gain – not a net loss.

    85 responses to “Latest CA Polls Show Big Boost In Prop. 19 Support”

    1. bb54 says:

      California and Californians have an appointment with history soon.
      All eyes are on California waiting for the outcome to Prop.19
      As a Canadian, and Canadians are very famous throughout the world for their wait and see attitude,I can only wait and see.With the Conservatives and Mr.Harper in power that’s the rule : wait and see. Wait for Californians to legalize and see the results of marijuana legalization.I hope Marc Emery is returned to Canada in the process.

    2. J says:

      All I can say to all of this is go vote for Prop 19 in CA! Tell your non-toking friends to do so too if they want to rescue the state’s budget. I, for one, know at least a dozen people who are waiting to see how the vote before deciding whether to go on a Canadian ski vacation or a California beach vacation this winter. Upset about empty hotels and restaurants? Fill them up and get them paying taxes again by supporting 19.

    3. Charlie says:

      Hi there…great work with the continued effort to debunk the No-on-19ers. 🙂

      I’ve recently heard pessimistic comments by the folks at Marijuana Radio. Essentially, they are under the impression that organizations like NORML, MPP, and DPA endorse Prop 19 because it will put them in a position to profit from it. I know that MR is in favor of legalization; however, their distrust of our Govt (even State Govts) is dominating their opinion of Prop 19. It appears that their concerns are: 1) Fear that Prop 215 will be negated; 2) too loose interpretation of “space” with regards to minors; and 3) corporate monopolies that will take over MJ production/distribution. I think NORML gets lumped into the last one.

      Would it be possible for Russ, Allen, or Keith to become a guest on their show (SOON) and set the record straight? MR has a lot of listeners, many of which are Californians, who must be educated regarding the realities of Prop 19.



      [Editor’s note: A number of NORML staffers have been guests on Marijuana Radio and they’d all welcome the chance to be on again to encourage all of their listeners to support Prop 19 and to relate that self-evidently NORML has no financial stake in growing, marketing or selling cannabis–NORML is a non-profit public interest advocacy organization that is supported only by members’ donations.

      While Prop 19 is not a perfect reform vehicle, Marijuana Radio’s three stated concerns are not valid or are already in effect under medical cannabis, and don’t warrant actually voting ‘no’ to legalization on Prop 19 and ‘yes’ to the continued arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations of hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers in CA.]

    4. DB says:

      I can’t believe after all these years of hoping, praying and working towards some kind of reform, that there are people who would actually vote NO on Prop 19 because it’s not a perfect bill. Well, good luck finding a more perfect bill than this!! HINT: It ain’t happening!

    5. fuzzy says:

      do you people really think that the landlords will be ok with this why dont you go and ask them have you ever seen the inside of a grow room hello.. it turns it to crap do you think they will allow this no you need there permisssion read this thing dont be childish about it 20012 will be a better prop we should wait it will be better…….

      [Editor’s note: Your comment is too strange to directly address…but suffice of to say if Californians do not vote in the majority for Prop. 19, reformers will right back at the polls in 2012…Californians are going to vote to end cannabis prohibition be it this election, or one soon to come.]

    6. Disgusting says:

      Legal marijuana is coming to America and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The prohibitionists had better prepare for reality as well as the truth. You’ve been shoving your false propaganda down our throats for years, now it is our turn.

    7. Oh no,
      marijuana may cause a mass hysteria/
      can grow boobs, but also beware of laws/
      that will incarcerate and devastate/
      become hella lazy and overweight/
      will cause cancer at a crazy pace/
      prop. 19 is out of place, a failed race/
      but don’t forget that you may just lose your life/
      marijuanas more addictive then others, might as well use a knife/

      thats what they say well i do to
      really its not bad look at me instead of him and F*** u/

      really now weed is from the earth “put here 4 u and me”/
      This is called god to some countries, the benefits obsolete/
      a crime for some, some who lost but on the struggle to have won/
      one’s a lonely number so lets all get up and vote some/
      why, because it’s just plain ridiculious/
      these are my rights, my world, same s***/
      so I’m gonna sit back and grow fat ti**/
      while you stay on your hating game coming up with fake ad-libs/

      legalize marijuana I know u wanna for the world there’s a lotta, not a lotto, but moneys the problem, my rights they rob ’em/ while they rape I’ll smoke and dodge them, as they did/ but mine’s a victimless crime, over-reated!!/


    8. Nic says:

      Have you wondered

      Paul Armentano

      If you were The President Of The United States

      You have my vote


    9. Nic says:

      Give Prposition 19 a Chance
      – John Lennon

      Ev’rybody’s talkin’ ’bout
      Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
      This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
      All we are saying is give peace a chance
      All we are saying is give peace a chance

      Ev’rybody’s talkin’ ’bout
      Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
      Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes
      All we are saying is give peace a chance
      All we are saying is give peace a chance

      (Let me tell you now)
      Ev’rybody’s talkin’ ’bout
      Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
      Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations
      All we are saying is give peace a chance
      All we are saying is give peace a chance

      Ev’rybody’s talkin’ ’bout
      John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,
      Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,
      Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
      Hare Hare Krishna
      All we are saying is give peace a chance
      All we are saying is give peace a chance

    10. Nic says:

      Dear Bill, Have you noticed? The smirks are gone. Newscasts featuring the many LEAP speakers personally supporting Prop 19 in California are treating this as a normal, mainstream policy debate! Nearly all gone are the knowing chuckles, bad puns and dismissive looks. Instead, legalization is getting a full, respectful hearing. This is unprecedented. And it’s evidence of a strong showing – dare we hope victory – in November, which was unthinkable less than a year ago. We made this happen. We put former drug warriors with impeccable credentials and media savvy in front of the mainstream media, and they are firmly, credibly disarming the critics. Our speakers are dominating the California media on CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, Time, AP and many other media outlets. They are dismantling our opponents’ strongest card-the formerly solid, now crumbling wall of law enforcement gravely warning of imminent disaster from legalization. They are stripping drug warriors of their fig leaf of respectability, exposing their distortions and scare tactics for what they are. They are changing minds and votes. Our speakers have done us proud. And since your support made this possible, you have done us proud. Of course, you know what it takes to keep up this level of pressure. And you know how very close we are to seriously altering the landscape for drug policy reform in America. We need to raise $19,000 in 19 days, and generous donors have offered to match your gift dollar for dollar up to that amount! Give because you agree with the law enforcement officials who are sick and tired of the fruitless drug war – and want as many people as possible to hear their message. Your donation will be matched. Our law enforcement professionals are dominating the airwaves. As our parents and grandparents used to say, “keep ’em flying!” Sincerely, Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director P.S. If all this weren’t enough, we have been instrumental in moving both the California NAACP and the National Black Police Officers Association to support Prop 19! Our reach, impact and potential are increasing, thanks to your generous support. Your donation puts LEAP speakers in front of audiences. To support LEAP’s work by making a contribution, please click here . 121 Mystic Ave. Suites 8&9 Medford, MA 01255 (781) 393-6985 info@leap.cc You received this e-mail because you are a supporter of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. We need help growing our all-encompassing movement of citizens who want to end the failed “war on drugs,” so please invite your family and friends to learn about LEAP. Click here if you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us.
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