NEW POLL: Majority of Washington State Voters Support Marijuana Legalization Initiative I-502

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director June 19, 2012

    The good news just keeps rolling in this week, as just released polling data from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that the majority Washington voters support their state’s legalization initiative, I-502.
    This data is great news for New Approach Washington‘s campaign to become the first state to relegalize the adult use of cannabis this November.

    From PPP:
    Washington is also leaning toward legalizing marijuana. 50% of voters now say they’ll support Initiative 502 to 37% who are opposed. That’s a slight increase in support for the initiative relative to our last poll, which found it ahead 47/39.

    This issue isn’t quite as polarizing along party lines as gay marriage. 70% of Democrats support legalizing marijuana, less than the 82% who support gay marriage. But 22% of Republicans support legalizing marijuana to only 10% who support gay marriage. Independents support both measures with similar numbers- 54% for marijuana, 53% for marriage.

    Washington Initiative 502 would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues. If the election was today, would you vote yes or no on Initiative 502?

    Yes 50%
    No 37%
    Not sure 12%

    More information is available from PPP here.

    This poll comes on the back of last week’s Rasmussen Reports survey that had likely Colorado voters supporting their legalization initiative, Amendment 64, by 61%. If these trends continue it is very plausible, even probable, that marijuana legalization will go 2 for 2 in November.

    43 responses to “NEW POLL: Majority of Washington State Voters Support Marijuana Legalization Initiative I-502”

    1. Amsterdamned says:

      I fully support legalization of all cannabis, but the per se drugged driving provision being added to WA’s proposed initiative is a non-starter for me. This is a horrible provision that will lead to obvious abuses by law enforcement. You can rest assured that if a cop pulls you over, (let’s say for a burned out tail light) and catches a wiff of weed (or even claims to, if they suspect or know you are a regular cannabis consumer) there is a good possibility that you will be forced to undergo a presumptive test for THC metabolites. If this happens, and you are a regular user, or recently used, you could soon find yourself arrested for DUI, even though you
      you are not impaired.
      I would support a rational approach to thc impairment testing, but the current methods are non-sensical as they have no correlation to impairment.
      If you are driving impaired, you deserve what you get, but per se laws do not allow for a rational defense against a dui. If you are found with an arbitrary amount of thc metabolites in your system, you are guilty. Welcome to court. Speaking of court, the courts WILL uphold the legality of warrentless searches of your body fluids based on an officers keen sense of smell, or discovery of cannabis on your person. It isn’t a given that all this will happen, just more likely than not, given the past history of the law enforcement and court systems.
      Here is some info on saliva testing.
      This is our state, and we the residents of this state are the ones who will be left with the mess if this pointless and arbitrary provision remains in the initiative.

      [Paul Armentano responds: To clarify, the provision in question explicitly excludes the presence of marijuana metabolites to be used as evidence of a DUI violation, so the above statement is incorrect. Further, probable cause of DUI is still necessary before any blood draw of a suspect could be obtained, which is the same standard that exists now. NORML’s Board of Directors has previously expressed its objections to this provision here: http://blog.norml.org/2012/02/24/normls-official-reply-to-patients-against-i-502/.%5D

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      Wow! As Ray Kurweil realized, progress is logarithmic.

      Jay Leno’s monologue last night included mentioning that the Internet was abuzz with rumors that President Obama would come out in favor of marijuana reform. Say what you will about him, the man knows how to win an election. Coming out in favor of gay marriage indicates he judged he would gain more votes this way than he would lose.

      Hopefully, he’ll come to the same conclusion about marijuana. The percentages of support for both issues between the two political suggest this is not as unlikely as it once may have seemed.

    3. F.G. says:

      This is good news . People are believing the facts, not more continued lies but in other news this is worse than, Hitler’s Germany .I title it :

      ” Smoke a joint & your Children are taken away “.
      In the case of a Bronx mother, Penelope Harris, whose home was searched on suspicion of drug dealing. Police found about a third of an ounce of marijuana, which Harris said belonged to her boyfriend for personal use. The police found no evidence of drug sales and Harris, who was taking care of two children at home, denied dealing drugs and tested negative for drug use. Bronx prosecutors did not file charges against her.

      But that did not deter the Administration for Children’s Services. Secret wrote:

      The police had reported her arrest to the state’s child welfare hot line, and city caseworkers quickly arrived and took the children away.

      Her son, then 10, spent more than a week in foster care. Her niece, who was 8 and living with her as a foster child, was placed in another home and not returned by the foster care agency for more than a year. Ms. Harris, 31, had to weather a lengthy child neglect inquiry, though she had no criminal record and had never before been investigated by the child welfare authorities, Ms. Harris and her lawyer said.

      “I felt like less of a parent, like I had failed my children,” Ms. Harris said. “It tore me up.”

      Child services agreed to return her son if Harris agreed to seek therapy, submit to random drug screens and keep her boyfriend from returning to her home. These conditions were administered despite the fact that there was no evidence that Harris was a repeated drug misuser (which is required by the state to consider a child neglected), no evidence that the boyfriend was addicted, either, and none that anyone was harming Harris’ children in the first place. Indeed, Harris’ case was closed in April with no finding of neglect.

    4. Fireweed says:

      I definitely think we’re reaching a tipping point…..

    5. Daniel P says:

      I know how this woman feels my daughter has been in foster care for 4 months now over one failed drug test that me and my wife failed ONLY for cannabis.. They let us see her once a week and let us keep our other 3 kids, they just took her and after this many months they still wont give us a clear and defined reason as to why they wont give her back.. Me and my wife think its because she is the only one of our 4 children that receives a SS check that they are now taking every month.. Not to mention that our Family Care Manager has expressed to us that this is her very first case of her career. We Don’t know what to do…

    6. sam says:

      I need a puff

    7. phrtao says:

      To those people with children taken into care – as a parent my heart aches for you ! There never seems to be any pretense of assessing if you are unfit parents at all in these cases. If you were alcoholics no one would even care until your child was harmed.

      I feel helpless but I am going to donate to NORML today – I suggest others do the same.

      Let’s get some human rights

    8. T' says:

      Anyone who votes for i 502 is ignorant to the new amended laws in Washington state. Anyone operating under the given current medical laws are protected by the state.
      RCW 69.51A.005 – RCW 69.51A.901
      they can not seize your property, they can not take away your children and arresting officers do not have enough proof to arrest and seize medicine. Operate under the given laws and you have nothing to worry about. If i 502 passes then no one is allowed to drive for 30 days?
      How is that new approach Washington is so great? Then they should amend the 5 nano grams driving rule to 50 nano grams.
      Educate yourself people
      There are many good things about i502 but the driving rule must be changed. Period.

      [Editor’s note: No one including I-502’s sponsor do not acknowledge that post passage of the initiative one of the first post-Prohibition projects for the WA cannabis using community and activists is to pass amending legislation re the proposed DUID standards.

      However, voting against I-502 because one is overly concerned with the proposed DUID standards will be shortsighted as the out of state funding that makes all of WA’s pro-reform efforts possible since 1998 could readily walk away forever from the state if anti-prohibitionists from the medical cannabis industry effectively organize against this cannabis legalization initiative to the degree that it fails.]

      [Paul Armentano responds: Your claim above inferring that under this provision trace levels of THC will be present for ’30 days’ is false. The proposed threshold is for active THC in blood only, not metabolites. THC in blood has a relatively short half-life, particularly in less-than-chronic users.]