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. juggy says:

      Makes me feel good to hear this. Any new info on Illinois . The illinoisnorml site isn’t updated very often.

    2. Will S. says:

      I still don’t understand how people are so concerned with the driving provisions that they are trying to vote this down. Taking this large step and having legalization with a driving provision will be much worse than what we have now right? Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? I was just gonna vote yes and hope everyone else I know would too, now I’m gonna convince every single person I know to vote yes on I-502, if for nothing more than to beat the ridiculous med mj community who are saying “no on I-502”. Next thing they’ll be saying is that cannabis is a gateway drug that causes cancer and psychosis. See a pattern here? As with anything just follow the money.

    3. Voice says:

      Medical Marijuana is causing more problems than straight legalizing it.

      How is the DUI law in I 502 any different from the law now?

      [Paul Armentano responds: Procedurally, it changes nothing. However, the provision in question at trial lowers the present ‘affect based’ standard to a per se standard. NORML further explains this issue here:


    4. Over50voter says:

      People, the fact that all initiatives are modified with additional laws. The key is to getover the legalization hurdle. This then sets up the supreme court of the us to rule upon the unconstitutionality of drug enforcement by the federal govt. Once statevrule is once again established, we the people will once again control.

      And if the politicians in olympia want to block efforts to change the dui standards, we have the initiative process..

    5. Ric Smith says:

      502 will wrongfully convict unimpaired drivers of driving under impairment. Current science isn’t sufficient to justify Progressive Insurance targeting, or as Stamper says cops profiling vulnerable populations.

      * 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. *
      Tell us,editor, or provide citations which we can research -How many times have dui penalties been relaxed in this life? No need, the answer is none.

      *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.*

      Reduced to a threat of extortion if folks do not feel think nor act as you do? I think thats illegal in order to sway votes.

      With you guys help, 502 hasn’t got a snowballs chance in Miami. Sorry boys ;-/

      [Editor’s note: I-502’s prospects look good…notably when the former Seattle police chief and NORML advisory board member Norm Stamper SUPPORTS the passage of the law. There is nothing illegal about the major funders of WA cannabis laws going back to the 1990s not wanting to waste their money anymore in a state where some of the citizens involved in the medical cannabis industry organize to OPPOSE legalization. Why not go and spend the money in a different state to advance cannabis law reforms?

      Cannabis freedom is available to WA citizens in 2012. They should seize it with both hands.]

    6. ben says:

      Will this effect medical cannabis patients who are below the age of 21?

      [Paul Armentano responds: I-502 does not amend the state’s existing medical use regulations.]

    7. Bob says:

      OK folks its time to make a stand.

      The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. If ya have some money to spare – contribute to Normal or a like organization and/or email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

      To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

      Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010 and each year the number increases. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

      I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and endorse responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


      Voting Citizen
      & Member of the Movement

    8. Lakua says:

      Anyone who votes against I-502 is on the same side as the people who want to throw you in jail for smoking cannabis. If you’re against I-502, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. I-502, while not perfect, is still a HUGE step in the right direction.

      Freedom was lost incrementally, it has to be gained back incrementally, short of a revolution.

      Vote YES on I-502!

    9. Seattle Guy says:

      With the 502 cultivation and production laws seemingly removing all state bound civil penalties and arrests, does this mean that, hypothetically speaking, without regard to federal laws (again, hypothetically), someone could buy a warehouse and grow 15,000 plants?

      I think this would hurt cannabis patients in WA state, simply based off of the fact that the majority of dried medicine one receives now in dispensaries is part of smaller crops made by other patients. Making cannabis cultivation a viable commercial industry encourages a big business attitude towards meds, and that just doesn’t sit right with me.

      [Editor’s note: OK…so you’re inclined to vote against a legalization initiative because you claim that you’re afraid that more productive growers under legalization–as compared to the gray area of illegality that still exists around medical cannabis productions/sales; with their severely limited plant counts to be lawful at all–producing cannabis at lower prices than today’s so-called ‘mom and pop’ medical cannabis cultivators who still charge Prohibition-priced product?

      Really? You’re going to vote against the initiative along with narcs, prison guards, pee testers and most government officials for a stated desire to pay for overpriced, dried vegetable matter?

      Post the passage of I-502, if you want to pay higher prices to niche, high quality producers, that is surely your choice (like shopping at Whole Foods), but the vast majority of consumers readily want to have the choice to access cannabis at lower prices and at more available locations (think brands like Safeway, Food Lion, 7-Eleven, etc…).

      Vote for cannabis freedom each and every time there are initiatives–even when one perceive them imperfect, because not to do so is to retard the march of history of cannabis law reform for reasons that hardly warrant siding with the prohibitionists in the voting booth.]

    10. Robert says:

      Im onboard for 502, to walk a mile, we all have to take the first step. This is NOT a step in the wrong direction either for you smart asses.

      YES ON 502

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