New Poll Finds Legal Pot Not Inevitable in California

New Poll Reveals Soft Support for Proposition 64

Official Logo of the No on 63 campaign.

The latest poll of Proposition 64 shows soft support of the measure and highlights how quickly support changes depending how the message is given.  Of the five states with marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2016, California is the only state in which support for legalization leads in the polls.  Legalization ballots lose badly in Massachusetts and in Arizona, according to  recent polls.  It is a statistical tie in Nevada.

Smith-Johnson Research conducted a poll of 500 likely California voters by cell and land lines,  August 17-19, 2016.   The margin for error is +/-4.4%.  Support for legalization drops once voters hear one fact — Proposition 64 will allow marijuana smoking ads in prime time, and on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers.

Voters heard the description of Proposition 64 two different ways.

First, the ballot said that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act “could result in tens of millions of dollars in savings and increase tax revenue from hundreds of millions of dollars to over one billion annually. It gives local government the right to ban local sales, and establishes a state system of regulation and licensure.”  With these positive messages, 56% of voters support the ballot.   (About 80% of communities in California have banned marijuana.)

Second Ballot Mentions Advertising

In the second ballot, they were told of a ruling by the Sacramento Superior Court about advertising. Opponents to Proposition 64 may state there’s the possibility of television ads promoting marijuana smoking and edibles on prime time television.  The change from the first to the second poll was dramatic, shifting from majority in favor to majority opposing.  The second ballot yielded 43% support compared to 52% oppose.

In each case, the interviewees asked, “If the election was held today, would you definitely vote for Proposition 64, probably vote for Proposition 64, probably vote against Proposition 64 or definitely vote against Proposition 64.

These results of this new poll shows the fluidity of vote and the softening of the support.  Support soften as voters begin to hear more about the actual details of the measure. As in other surveys on this issue women continue to be skeptical about Prop 64.  In this latest statewide test only 49% of likely women voters are “probably” or “definitely” supporting the measure.   Here’s a description of the new poll with complete description of the questions.

“Proposition 64 has had two weeks of press coverage that is starting to expose some serious flaws,” said Tim Rosales. Rosales is a strategist working on No on 64.  He mentioned possible “television ads promoting smoking marijuana that will air to millions of kids.”  Support is soft and a win of No on 64 is “definitely is in striking distance.”



2 thoughts on “New Poll Finds Legal Pot Not Inevitable in California”

  1. I’d like to see a national ad somewhere, perhaps a full page in the New York Times, that simply listed some of the myriads of names of murderers who abused marijuana.

    For instance, the Tsarnaevs, Pistorius, Amanda Knox and cohorts, Megan Huntsman, OJ Simpson, a few of the NFL players, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Eric Klebold, Eric Rudolph (the Olympic bomber), Tim McVeigh, Robert Dear, Dylann Roof, Kouachi, Mohamed Bouhlel, George Hennard, Ted Bundy, etc.

    It would be easy to list a couple of thousand of high profile names, let alone myriads more few even hear of. Though hate and spittle would fly, there would be many thoughtful readers who would look through the list, become informed and be amazed at all the familiar names. At the very least, contrary to a common misperception, many would begin to realize that marijuana does not necessarily render all abusers peaceful and nonviolent! And it might even be an alarm bell.

    The first step is illustrating to the American public this astonishing correlation. It might fill the gap from what our national media is intentionally not reporting, get the public to think about whether this is all merely chance, or if there is indeed medical causation. The relation between marijuana abuse and schizophrenia and other mental health problems, for instance, alone implies many big red arrows are pointing at some kind medical causation (or ‘enablement’) that might be bidirectional in nature (ie those with mental health issues might be attracted to marijuana as a form of self-medication, while use of marijuana itself might aggravate those conditions).

    Then as we consider the role of causation, we might then in turn be more apprehensive about the direction of our country and the potentially devastating consequences. How many more marijuana related mass murders such as the OKC bombing, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Olympic bombing, the mass shooting in Orlando, the truck driver in Nice, France, and so forth, can we possibly endure? Or even 9/11. Or maybe we are becoming conditioned and innured to the degree that we merely expect these horrors to continue, as though we don’t care because it’s the new norm or American culture?

    Such discussion should be commonplace in our national dialogue. With any of these crimes as they come along, heaven forbid whenever and where ever, sure, ask about guns and other weapons and how they were acquired, but also ask about prior drug abuse, mental health issues and how the role of marijuana. The media should have an obligation to simply ask the question! Our national conscience should at least be informed, suspicious and concerned.

    But we’re not unfortunately.

    One step at a time.

  2. I should have mentioned that an informed public in California and elsewhere, taking the above commentary in consideration, would certainly be less favorable toward legalization.

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