Who Will Legalize Marijuana Next Week?


Jacob Sullum

A week before Election Day, it looks like at least one of the four major marijuana initiatives will pass, while the other three races are too close to call. Here is a rundown of the latest polling, arranged by likelihood of passage:

Washington, D.C. Initiative 71, which would make it legal for adults 21 or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants at home, enjoyed a 2-to-1 advantage in a Washington Post poll conducted last month, with only 2 percent undecided. As I noted at the time, the initiative's prospects were boosted by a dramatic reversal of opinion among black voters in recent years, presumably driven by concerns about the racially disproportionate impact of marijuana prohibition. Despite this groundswell of support, the fate of marijuana legalization in the nation's capital ultimately will be up to Congress, which can always override anything that D.C. voters approve.

Oregon. A new Oregonian poll puts support for Measure 91, which would legalize commercial production and distribution as well as possession and use, at 44 percent, with 46 percent opposed, 7 percent undecided, and 2 percent declining to say. That two-point difference is within the poll's margin of error, so the results suggest a dead heat. By comparison, a poll conducted earlier in October, commissioned by Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Fox station in Portland, put support at 52 percent, with 41 percent opposed and 7 percent undecided. The sample in the latter poll was somewhat younger, based on different projections of who will vote. Turnout by younger voters, who are consistently more likely to support legalization, could be crucial to the outcome.

Alaska. Surveys by Public Policy Polling put support for Measure 2, which like Oregon's initiative would create a legal marijuana industry, at 48 percent in May and 44 percent in August. A few weeks ago supporters and opponents of Measure 2 released dueling poll results showing the initiative winning by eight points and losing by 10 points, respectively. In a survey by pollster Ivan Moore, 57 percent of voters favored legalization, while 39 percent opposed it. A Dittman Research poll put support at 43 percent and opposition at 53 percent. Both showed 4 percent of voters undecided. The wording of the poll questions was somewhat different. The Ivan Moore survey mentioned the elimination of criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce and noted that "constitutional protections allowing home cultivation would be preserved," a reference to the 1975 Alaska Supreme Court ruling that said the state constitution allows people to possess marijuana for personal use in the privacy of their homes.

Florida. Support for Amendment 2, which would make Florida the first Southern state to approve medical use of marijuana, seems to have plummeted since July, when a Quinnipiac University poll found that 88 percent of voters favored the measure. A Gravis Marketing poll conducted last week puts support at 50 percent. As a constitutional amendment, the initiative needs 60 percent to pass. "Medical marijuana is done," Gravis Marketing's managing partner told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday. "It will not pass." For those clinging to hope, United We Care, the Amendment 2 campaign, cites an Anzalone Liszt Grove poll it commissioned that puts support at 62 percent. The latter poll used the actual ballot language, while the Gravis Marketing poll used a summary.

The New York Times notes that the opposition to these initiatives has been well-funded only in Florida, thanks mainly to $5 million in support from Republican casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson. But before you conclude that money makes all the difference, note that the campaign for the Washington, D.C., initiative, which is ahead by a very large margin, has virtually none.

The Times lends credence to complaints by opponents of Oregon's Measure 91 that they have been silenced because critics objected when they tried to use taxpayer money to campaign against the initiative. At a recent anti-pot event in Keizer, the Times says, "no one even mentioned Measure 91," because "audience participants and organizers, many of them from government-funded nonprofit groups involved in drug treatment services, were afraid of violating laws that ban politicking with public money." Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis, a leading opponent of Measure 91, claims "they've done a pretty good job of shutting everybody up."

Please. If you address an audience of Oregon voters right before an election in which marijuana legalization is on the ballot, and you go on and on about the menace that marijuana poses to the youth of Oregon, you need not explicitly say "vote no on Measure 91" to get your message across. And if these anti-pot activists want to be freed from the shackles of self-censorship, all they have to do is spend their own money instead of using resources forcibly extracted from taxpayers. Evidently it's hard to find people who will voluntarily part with their hard-earned money in support of the prohibitionist cause. Marquis complains than the No on 91 folks have "no sugar daddy" like Adelson. And as the Times notes, "Opponents were, by their own admission, late in forming a united organization." It seems that 77 years of prohibition have fostered complacency as well as a tendency to rely on government support among the busybodies who insist on using force to stop people from getting high. 

NEXT: WATCH: Three Ways Parents are Ruining Halloween

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m guessing that the only one that will pass this time will be Oregon. But I’m not 100% sure on that. I think it the odds are about even.

    Florida – no way

    Alaska – maybe close, but won’t pass

    DC – nope. And if it did, this is the one that the feds will step in and put a stop to. Too close to home.

    1. I really hope DC, just to rub their faces in it.

      1. Me too, but I seriously doubt it.

        1. DC WILL pass, without a doubt. The only question is what bullshit excuse the Feds will use to shut it down.

    2. I’m personally amazed that the Oregon one is as close as it is. I was in Oregon surfing in the summer and, uh, let me assure you that almost everyone on the beach was stoned (including me). Granted, it’s surfers, but still. Plus, Washington legalized, so the Oregonians should be feeling pretty much like getting their rivalry on.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Alaska one pass. At all.

      I bet DC passes and gets shut down by Congress–hard.

      Florida will probably lose by a small margin.

      1. Soon there will just be an entire ring of states around Montana where it’s legal.

        1. Well, that’s what you get for living with the Unabomber in his shack.

          1. And Francisco. Ewwww.

            1. They’re more charming than you’d think!

    3. A supermajority of the city supports it. Congress can’t do shit. If they actually get together to stop it, they’ll show their true selves to everyone.

      1. Here’s what I’m wondering. It looks like the GOP will win the Senate.

        On the day after Election Day, there’ll be a big push for Circus 2016. Will anyone at RNC step up to say, “Hey, if we don’t want to lose Millenials forever, we probably should figure out how to lose teh Reefer Madness”?

  2. I would like these measures to pass, if only to piss off the whiny little bitches who advocate prohibition. “Oh, we’re so persecuted, we don’t have a sugar daddy and they won’t let us spend taxpayer money on *explicit* propaganda, waah waah!”

    1. One of them passing would be great. I’d say that’s about the best to hope for this time around.

  3. If the DC measure does pass, I wonder if there is enough bleed over into Northern Virginia to get it on a ballot here in the near future?

    1. I doubt it, but I bet there will be a lot of Virginians and Marylanders spending more time in DC, (;

    2. It would never pass here. Even if it were passed in DC I can guarantee there would be a dc cop in the parking lots of everyone of the dispensaries writing down license plates to tip off Arlington cops waiting across the bridge.

      1. They’d need at least a trillion more tax dollars to make sure no one got across a state line with the devil’s weed. For the children. The DC police will be riding around the street in tanks.

        1. You kidding? With the money the cops would get from robbing everyone crossing the state line and stealing their cars, it would pay for itself and then some!

          1. Yeah, but those will be the MD and VA cops. The DC cops need their fair share!

            1. I’m sure they could work something out. DC cops tell them who to pull over and they share the loot.

              1. Sounds quite plausible to me.

            2. Interagency task force. Everybody wets their beak.

              It would be lulzy to drive up to pot shops, go in and get something non-pot, and then show it (with your receipt!) to cops wasting their time stopping people on the bridge.

              After busting some chops, on cellcam, about probable cause, etc.

              1. Of course you’re risking an anal probe after they insist you rolled a stop and that the drugs are hidden in your arse. Couple of years later though, you might get rich from your settlement, courtesy of the tax payers.

  4. If Florida doesn’t pass Amendment 2, I’m personally going to Vegas to punch that fucktard Sheldon Adelson in the nards.

    1. And then spend money in his casino. You’re only human, after all.

      1. What does he own, The Sands and The Venetian? I can survive without those. I’ll head over to the Bellagio.

    2. I voted for Admendment 2 but let’s face it, the amendment was pretty poorly (and narrowly) written and proponents did absultely nothing to counter the attack ads. I’m not surprised that it is losing.

      1. It was exceedingly well-written. It was basically a rip-off of the MMJ ballot measure that won in Massachusetts.

        They just chose a tough year to run with it and they ran into a tsunami of AdelsonBucks. Shit happens.

  5. Who Will Legalize “Legalize” Marijuana Next Week?


    1. No kidding.

      While I’m thrilled to see some states moving in the right direction, the whole regulatory superstructure that will undoubtedly unfold tempers my enthusiasm.

      1. As a rule taxes suck but if we can start sucking some serious revenue out of pot users that in my opinion will be a good thing in regards to its utility in further pressing for liberalized marijuana laws

        1. That may be practical, but does it not further entrench the legitimacy of basing liberalization on statism (i.e., legalization good ’cause tax revenue)?

          I don’t believe legalization does much at all to further classically liberal objectives of self-autonomy and freedom of contract when it’s sold on the premise it will increase state coffers.

          Why isn’t it enough for people that criminalizing otherwise victimless conduct is wrong?

          1. Why isn’t it enough for people that criminalizing otherwise victimless conduct is wrong?

            Because they’re statist control freaks and someone of them stand to profit from it, a lot.

            1. True dat

              If we can massively expand personal liberty with the added benefit of freeing potential legal system victims from prosecution and the tradeoff is some taxes, I’ll gladly pragmatically Go for that

              I realise there are many best is the enemy of the good nimrods here people who are exactly the kind of impractical ninnies that help reinforce the status quo, though

              Let’s not also Forget that by legalizing drugs we take the murderous cartels out of the equation and like it or not many people who are buying drugs these days are directly helping to finance mass murder

              So yeah, I’d rather see people have to pay taxes for bud if it means they aren’t lining the pockets of drug cartels (the state Government has some suck, but I’d rather see them get some income vs the cartels )

          2. There’s a tradeoff. Is a little bit of legitimizing of statism okay if it means that fewer people are getting thrown into cement rape cages for pot? I say yes, especially since the existing black market keeps them from really ratcheting up the regulation.

            1. Exactly

              Pragmatism trumps the typical reasonoid perfect is the enemy of the good canards

              Some Ivory tower ninnies here will whinge about anything short of full blown anarchy

              ‘But I gave to pay tax on my weed!’

              Jesus wept

              1. I blame the Marxist “the worse, the better” attitude sneaking in from left radicals.

                Thus, once again, the blame ultimately comes back to cosmotarian cocktail parties.

  6. How accurate was the WA and CO state polling data at the same distance from the vote?

    1. Iirc, pretty accurate

  7. Damn, I was counting on Oregon, thought it would be a slam dunk this time. Gotta keep the momentum going from WA and CO so continued legalization looks like an inevitability rather than a fluke. If OR legalizes, CA will be a sure thing in 2016. Without it, I’m a little nervous.

    I do look forward to the idiots in congress falling over themselves in an orgy of competitive ignorant grandstanding while smacking down D.C.

  8. Legalized marijuana here in Washington isn’t just good because it’s good but it’s good because damn it is giving me major I told you so credibility with a metric ass load of people I discussed this issue with before passage of the initiative

    Another bonus is that people get to see firsthand that yes if you legalize marijuana the entire edifice of society does not collapse and in fact the benefits outweigh the costs which is an added plus to the fact that it’s just plain good policy and pro liberty

    Contrary to what a few idiots here predicted we have not seen interference from the feds to any significant extent and the transition has been rather smooth

    Rand Paul is still a hypocritical stupid false libertarian for refusing to even advocate for taking marijuana out of the federal schedule one which results in thousands of people languishing in federal prison for nonviolent marijuana offenses

    Fortunately though even given his statist nonsense and status quo with the other federal law makers we have made significant inroads at the state level

    BOOYA legalized MJ

  9. I just hope at least one state legalizes. Because if they do, it continues the momentum. If they all lose, the prohibitionists will declare victory and start riding the feds hard to shut down the failed experiments in CO and WA.

    1. Lol ‘failed experiments’

      Even with their lies, they are going to be hard pressed to push that narrative successfully

      I recognize the natural irrational cynicism among reasonoids exists such as when the ignoratio here claimed that despite legalization Washington would see massive intervention from the feds


      Derp derp

      1. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, Dunphy. So you were right, so far, don’t get all puffed up over it, this shit ain’t over yet.

      2. Not convinced intervention won’t happen in the future.

        Christ, the one thing you’ve almost been right about ever in the forums and you have to crow about it like some little cunt.

        1. I’m right in almost every example of legal analysis and have bitch slapped Sloopy et al so often, it’s sad

          Just the other day I had to school Epi on his idiotic belief that cops lazing around on traffic direction details were getting paid overtime

          The thinness of legal knowledge and especially use of force doctrine law and science here is abysmal

          I converse with the adults at volokh

          Here, since the departure of Balko, it’s just colossal idiocy when it comes to legal/const law here

          Fucking sad

          1. I’m right in almost every example of legal analysis

            [swivels chair, looks at row of law licenses on wall, chuckles]

            1. Ah, credential ism

              One does not need a law degree to understand law

              Abraham Lincoln certainly didn’t

              Setting aside the fact that I’ve received nothing but respect from legal experts such as at volokh and have even been personally contacted and queried on UOF etc issues by people there

              But I have seen a disturbingly elitist strain of credential ism , an entirely non libertarian prejudice

              I have yet to see anybody here whether a lawyer or not actually produce a valid legal argument against any legal claim I have made in again I am talking descriptive stuff not normative stuff in other words when I produce legal analysis I have yet to see anybody here dispute it with actual case law not once

              Feel free to search away and find an example

              I’m wrong on occasion and glad to admit it when I am, but not in that area

              Show me an example

              1. To clarify, I have seen u libertarian credential ism HERE

                I’ve never once experienced it when dealing WITH mostly credentialed experts, which is quite telling

                1. I’ve never once experienced it when dealing WITH mostly credentialed experts, which is quite telling

                  Probably because you treated them with respect, and/or they couldn’t be bothered.

                  Trust me, though, they’re laughing at you after you leave the room. “Another lunchroom lawyer. With a gun, this time. Remember: smile and nod because he’s roided up, has a gun, AND sovereign immunity.”

              2. Abraham Lincoln certainly didn’t

                The guy who suspended habeas corpus?

                1. Here’s a hint

                  Knowing the law does not preclude one from breaking it when given the opportunity

                  That’s obviously true of cops, on rare occasions, as well as presidents God only knows

                  Do you think Richard Nixon wasn’t aware Burglary was illegal

                  I’m damn sure Clinton knew perjury was, and yes he committed it even though he got a sweetheart deal on a lesser charge

                  And lets not forget our current constitutional scholar in office (rolls eyes)

              3. I have yet to see anybody here dispute [my legal analysis] with actual case law not once[.]

                What case law supports your claim that medical MJ is qualitatively different from recreational MJ because of Big Pharma lobbying?

              4. Show me an example

                Not worth my time to dig one up.

                If you are who you claim you are, though, many here remember your grotesquely wrong statement that a man who answers the door to his apartment in a high-crime neighborhood with a (legally-owned) gun in his hand poses an imminent threat to law enforcement and should be gunned down on the spot.

                I don’t believe that is a correct application of the law.

                1. You also miss the point of much of the discussion here.

                  Which is directed more at how the law now justifies and even requires the violations of our rights, and how much Constitutional case law is directly at odds with the plain text of the Constitution.

                  Saying” “That horribly offensive violation of someone’s rights is legal because various and sundry agents and representatives of the State agree” is hardly the issue. Its more our point, than a refutation of our point.

                  1. You also miss the point of much of the discussion here.

                    It’s deliberate.

                    Remember that he is aware that I wasn’t pissed off about getting busted for DUI on a bicycle. I was pissed that the cop dismissed the witnesses because their statements would conflict with his fictional report, guaranteeing that I would have to fix the car that ran a red light before hitting me.

                    He absolutely refuses to address the dishonest cop (redundant, I know) and instead arrogantly sneers about my being a terrible person for hopping onto a bicycle after a couple brews.

                    He is neither honest nor arguing in good faith.

          2. Uh, I’ll be in Con Law in less than two hours.

            Try not to look like an ass.

            1. This forum has archives

              I post constantly in case law and have cited a metric assload of cases

              Feel free to show me ONE example here where I was bitchslapPed in case/const law here

              Heck I probably have been wrong and we’ll occasion it’s just that there is nobody here with the knowledge to ever recognise when that happens in this area

              And again I will get called on my legal and constitutional analysis in this area at ever and these guys unlike the ignoratio here are experts


              1. It brags like dunphy, it acts like tulpa…hmmm. Maybe it is a horrible fusion of the boasting, hubris, insecurity and lies of both!


      3. Well, seeing what the feds did in Montana (right after DOJ issued the Ogden Memo) to permitted state medical MJ growers, I can understand the cynicism.

        1. As I explained, there is a qualitative difference between medical mj and legalised mj

          The idiots here fail to grasp it in a matter how many times I explained it that there was massive federal hostility to medical marijuana because of the incredible strength of the pharmaceutical lobby in prompting them to attack

          The pharmaceutical lobby is not planting the federal government to attack recreational marijuana users

          There is the difference that no matter how many times I pounded into the idiot said they could not grasp


  10. At least Epi has one redeeming quality – he surfs

    It is the noble sport of kings

    At least at my college, not many of my fellow surf team members smoked pot

    Granted, 4 yr college competitive surfers are possibly a no representative subset of surfers, but I still think the surfer/stoner stereotype is probably a wee bit overemphasized

    Our top NCAA surfer was a engineering nerd who had never touched the stuff in his life

    I have always wanted to surf some decent WA winter swell action

    I sold both of my guns before leaving hawaii though 🙁

    I had a kickass quiver, kind of a necessity for surfing hawaii

    1. This is even more off topic than usual for you, Dunphy. Couldn’t you at least try and find a way to make this post into something justifying how wonderful police officers are and how much the people love them, like you usually do when you post off topic?

      1. No need to justify what the fact Pattern proves



        Fwiw, surfing is a massive passion for me. It prompted me to move 5000+ miles, separate from my friends, and take a job with a particularly weak as fuck pay scale just so I could surf epic Hawaiian waves

        I don’t regret it for a second

      2. You know what is the coolest thing about surfing when you’re a cop? While you’re hanging ten, you can shoot at puppies on the beach!

        1. I don’t longboard


          1. Note to everyone. He didn’t say he doesn’t shoot at puppies on the beach.

            1. Of course not. Nor have I said if I have stopped beating my wife

              Otoh, I have explained that I have never shot a dog, although I nearly had my arm ripped off by one

              My partner had an entirely justified shoot, but I gave responded to

              ONE police shooting of a dog

              And 4 (iirc) ‘civilian’ shooting of a dog

              Which would never get press in reason and yes all 4 were justified as fuck ™

              1. Of course not. Nor have I said if I have stopped beating my wife

                We’ll just assume from your taste in women that your wife beats you, and that you like it.

                1. I realize that you are an insecure pussy intimidated by a real woman

                  Real men respect strong women and you show me a 110 lb woman that can squat double bw and I will show you beauty

                  A la

                  [Open in new window]

                  As for my wife, A straw weights best roundhouse is like a heavyweight’s jab and since she is a straw kick boxer and I am double her bw, I am not too concerned

                  But ironically she told me when we first started dating she had a rule not to date anybody she could beat up and in pac nw pussy central, that’s a lot of wimpy doods who won’t make the cut

                  Strong women are beautiful but insecure wimpy men are not


  11. Speaking of off topic, for the first time in history, if you want to use a decent gaming controller for your IOS device w/o jailbreaking, you can

    Mad Catz has FINALLY released their CTRLi MFI console quality controller!!!!

    Delay after delay but finally it’s here

    If you are a IOS gamer, it’s a must have

    Doubly sweet if you use hdmi input on your TV to project 1080p iphone 6 plus goodness

    It’s easily more powerful than the Xbox 360 was

    1. Not that I EVER console game

      It’s PC, IOS, or back in the day PDP-10 if that does not date me as old as fuck

  12. Dunphy, you should lay off the crack and steroid mix before you post, you’re spamming the thread, dude.

    1. I used to be offended by steroid insinuations but now I view them proudly since it’s just a loser saying ‘man, I could never get that strong and powerful myself w/o drugs, so you must be on drugs’

      It’s a compliment in that respect

      1. ‘man, I could never get that strong and powerful myself w/o drugs, so you must be on drugs’

        Smell isn’t everything.

      2. Other than the people who’ve been raped by Warty on one of his trenbolone benders, I don’t think you’re going to find that many people here who would attach a moral stigma to roidz.

        1. Lol

          Add some HALOTESTIN to that mix!

          My point being its a compliment when people attribute your bufftitude to roids, not that roids are immoral

          It’s an achievement to get to the ‘wow you must be on roids’ level w/o them

          But I agree roids are fine

          Frankly, cops and firefighters should be dispensed then by a doctor AND required to meet yearly fitness standards

          FBI LEJ has proved tgst ceteris paribus, strong fit cops are lower liability, less likely to use higher level of force, less likely to suicide, develop mental illness, commit crime, abusecsick leave etc

  13. You people are terrible for advocating legalization when all you have to do is open your eyes to see the OBVIOUS failures in Colorado and Washington. There have been literally hundreds of nonviolent people the police have been completely unable to arrest, imprison, or even no-knock raid because of this misguided legislation.

    Think before you vote, people!

    1. There has been a failure of sorts in WA and CO in that thanks to taxes and fees making the legal stuff more expensive than the illegal stuff, the black market for weed in those states is still thriving.

      1. How much potential tax money do you suppose is going to unapproved sources? Since it’s really the state’s, and they’re just letting you hold on to some to it, that’s morally equivalent to stealing from THE PEOPLE, dontchaknow.

        1. He is right that it still is thriving and in fact the black market trade is far more aggressive and open since they know they have even less to fear from law enforcement

          Anecdotally I get propositioned to buy weed far more often since legalisation than before it I am talking off-duty walking around downtown Seattle Etc

          You’d expect they get more bold since they’ve probably lost some income as well and I’d even seen dealers now offering free snacks et cetera with a bag as an incentive

  14. Why isn’t Sheldon Adelson in a Chinese prison camp yet?

  15. Turnout by younger voters, who are consistently more likely to support legalization, could be crucial to the outcome.

    In other words, Oregon will remain firmly in the Drug War camp.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.