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Sep 20 2012

Support Strong for Pot Legalization in CO, WA

Andrew Sullivan links to polling that shows strong support for legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington, where referendums on the question are on the ballot in November. In Colorado, just over 50% of likely voters say they’ll vote for the bill:

The poll found that the measure, Amendment 64, has the support of 51 percent of likely voters surveyed, compared with 40 percent opposed. Men favor the measure more than women, a common gender split on the issue. But 49 percent of women polled said they support the measure, compared with 39 percent who said they are opposed.

Across every income bracket and in every age group except those 65 and older, more voters told pollsters they support the measure than oppose it, though some of the leads fall within the 4-percentage-point margin of error. Voters younger than 35 support the measure by a margin of 30 percentage points, 61 percent to 31 percent, according to the poll.

I think that last part is important. As with most issues, older voters are more resistant to change than younger voters, which means even if this initiative fails this time, it’s more likely to pass in the future. And the numbers are even better in Washington:

A new poll just released by SurveyUSA, shows Washington State’s Initiative 502 is maintaining its commanding lead heading into November. The latest survey data has likely voters in Washington supporting I-502 by a large margin, 57% of respondents stated they planned on voting yes, 34% said they would vote no, and 9% are undecided.

I hope this is the start of a real trend.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Reginald Selkirk

    All those people are going to look very silly once we win the war on drugs. Which I project will happen shortly after the end of the battle of the sexes.

  2. 2
    flex

    When the vote was taken here in Michigan to legalize medical marijuana a few years ago, one of the people in the office was trained to assist people in voting. She went to one of the retirement homes to help people there fill in their absentee ballots, and every single one of them voted for legalizing marijuana.

    Apparently when you are trapped in a squalid old-folks home, with a body which doesn’t function well anymore and constantly in pain, the idea of having a few tokes and getting high was very attractive.

  3. 3
    The Lorax

    Legalize it, draw up some new laws to limit it’s use just like alcohol (can’t sell to minors, no toking and driving), and then… *drum roll* … tax it. Win-win.

  4. 4
    lofgren

    I am continually disappointed that I can’t buy pot in the convenience store like I can beer, coffee, cigarettes, and Ho-Hos. It’s such a pain in the ass to walk across the street to the playground.

  5. 5
    davidhart

    “once we win the war on drugs. ”

    It’s one of those cruel paradoxical games, where the only winning move is not to play:-)

  6. 6
    lofgren

    the only winning move is not to play

    Very good, Joshua.

  7. 7
    valhar2000

    Somehow, it just doesn’t seem possible that the war on drugs will actually end. Indeed, I do suspect that even if those bills pass, I suspect nothing will really change. The Injustice System will find a way to keep putting people in prison for drugs.

  8. 8
    d cwilson

    Now that the boomers are in their sixties, it’s not surprising that more elderly voters support legalization.

  9. 9
    dingojack

    JOSHUA: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

    [/pedant]

    :) Dingo

  10. 10
    Pierce R. Butler

    CO, WA, bunga, dude!

  11. 11
    Ben P

    The thing that still boggles my mind a little bit is that, according to surveys, in any given year, somewhere between 17 and 25 million people in actively use marijuana. That is, somewhere between 6-10% of the population admits to actively using marijuana, and according to some studies these type of surveys undercount by as much as two thirds. So you potentially have 15-20% of the United States population that has used Marijuana recently.

    Over time, at least half, and sometimes as much as two third of the population admit to having used marijuana at some point in the past

    Yet, support for legalization in “strong” states still hovers at the 50% mark.

  12. 12
    jnorris

    I wonder how much money the states and federal governments would save if they legalized pot and released/pardoned those convicted of manufacturing, distributing and/or possessing a bag of weed? How much would we save by not prosecuting users? How much would the governments make by taxing sales?

  13. 13
    Trickster Goddess

    Somehow, it just doesn’t seem possible that the war on drugs will actually end.

    Yeah, we used to say that about the Cold War, too. Even in the mid-1980s.

  14. 14
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    I’ve never partaken in cannabis in my life, not out of any moral objection but the fact that I am too paranoid of lawbreaking to do so. (Which amused my mother, who told me she “just assumed I had at some point.”) I did, however, sign the petition to put the initiative on the WA ballot and will certainly be voting yes.

    Legalize it, regulate it (no minors), and tax it. Money in the bank.

  15. 15
    Worldtraveller

    I wonder how much money the states and federal governments would save if they legalized pot and released/pardoned those convicted of manufacturing, distributing and/or possessing a bag of weed? How much would we save by not prosecuting users? How much would the governments make by taxing sales?

    But then, a lot of the private prisons (aka Job Creators) might go out of business. It’s just not worth it man, think of the poor prison wardens!

    I’ve never partaken, never plan to, and I’m voting for legalization. =)

  16. 16
    abb3w

    Sorry, this is not the start of a trend. Instead, it’s another milestone. The trend to higher support for legalizing weed seems to have started in the early 1990s.

    Deep South still looks pretty opposed, but if the current trend continues, the national prohibition probably won’t be able to last out another decade. This looks like it could easily be one of the major fissures that cracks the Libertarian wing of the GOP away from the Religious Right wing, shattering the Tea Party in the process. Unfortunately, that means in the short term the Democrats might gain the most advantage in elections by not taking any stance on the issue, to avoid uniting the GOP in opposition, which might slow the shift.

    There’s a couple Rasmussen polls (which name triggers some uncertainties) on the topic in the last year. Interestingly, support was a lot higher for legalization poll that said “regulating” rather than “taxing” pot.

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