Marijuana

Marijuana Legalization Looks Likely in Three States

Polling also suggests Florida will become the first Southern state to allow medical use.

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Jacob Sullum

According to the latest American Values Survey, conducted last month by the Public Religion Research Institute, a record 63 percent of Americans favor "making the use of marijuana legal," up from 43 percent in 2012 and 44 percent last year. That result, which was released on Tuesday, comes a week after Gallup reported that 60 percent of Americans think "the use of marijuana should be made legal," a record for that survey, and two weeks after the Pew Research Center reported that 57 percent of respondents in its latest survey endorsed that proposition, yet another record. But as Washington Post drug policy blogger Christopher Ingraham notes, these results do not necessarily signal a clean sweep for the nine marijuana initiatives on state ballots a week from Tuesday, since the surveys use national samples and do not ask about production and distribution of cannabis.

A look at the latest initiative-specific polling suggests that marijuana will be legalized for recreational use in California, Maine, and Massachusetts, while Florida will become the first Southern state to recognize marijuana as a medicine. General legalization looks iffier in Arizona and Nevada, while medical marijuana intiatives seem headed for defeat in Arkansas and Montana. A lack of recent polling makes the outcome in North Dakota harder to predict. Here is the breakdown:

Recreational Marijuana

Arizona: Support for Proposition 205 in three polls conducted since my last update on October 6 averages 48 percent.

California: Support for Proposition 64 in two new polls averages more than 55 percent. The average for all eight polls conducted so far this year is 59 percent.

Maine: Two polls conducted in March and September found about 53 percent of voters favor Question 1.

Massachusetts: A new poll, completed last week, puts support for Question 4 at 55 percent. The average for September and October, based on four polls, is 53 percent.

Nevada: Support for Question 2 in two new polls averages 50 percent, slightly less than the seven-poll average for the year.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas: A new poll, conducted last week, puts support for Issue 6 and Issue 7 (both of which would legalize medical use) at 45 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Florida: Amendment 2 needs approval from 60 percent of voters to win. A new poll, sponsored by the Yes on 2 campaign and completed last week, puts support at 74 percent, about the same as the three-poll average for September. The 2016 average, based on 12 polls, is about 70 percent.

Montana: A new poll, completed on October 12, puts support for I-182, which would expand patient access to marijuana, at 44 percent.

North Dakota: I still can't find polling specific to Initiated Statutory Measure 5. According to a 2014 poll, 47 percent of likely voters thought marijuana should be legal for recreational use.

UPDATE: On Thursday the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified Issue 7, the more permissive of that state's two medical marijuana initiatives. The court said 12,000 of the signatures collected for Issue 7 were invalid because the measure's supporters had failed to comply with state rules for registering petition circulators.

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  1. Florida will become the first Southern state to recognize marijuana as a medicine

    Florida isn’t a ‘southern’ state in culture, merely geography. No sane people would move into that swamp. (as opposed to other swamps)

    1. Au contraire, parts of Florida are very southern. Basically almost everything north of I-4, and the inland areas south of Orlando. It’s not for nothing that the panhandle is referred to as LA (Lower Alabama).

      1. Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Gainesville are all still Southern areas. Of course, all the little towns in the panhandle are about as redneck as it gets.

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    2. Miami isn’t a southern city, but there are large segments of Florida that are Southern enough to make a Yankee extremely nervous.

  2. First same-sex marriage and now this. What’s next? Marijuana joints marrying ducks?

    1. It is truly a libertarian moment. And no, whats next is a felon in the white house stealing everything in sight.

    2. A marijuana joint and a duck walk into a cozy but cheesy Nevada you-marry-em chapel.

      (Sorry, I forgot the punch line, can anyone help me out? Prize winner’s award is some VERY tasty, roasted, smoked duck!)

      1. Hitler. It’s Hitler right?

    3. “I now pronounce you Spliff and Drake”

  3. Thankfully Sheldon Adelson “only” put $1.5 million into the “No on 2” campaign to scare old people into voting no. Measure looked likely to pass in 2014 until he put $5 million in (ended up getting around 57% in favor)

    1. I hope this passes, but I really don’t like how they spell out which conditions can be treated. What if 2 weeks after it passes we find out MJ is an effective cure for skin cancer? Oh well, we have to wait until the next election to update the constitution again.

      1. “(b) DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

        (1) “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma …”

        Skin cancer is still cancer!

        “…or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”

        So there is a little vagueness to catch unnamed issues.

  4. The Massachusetts initiative reads like a prog’s wet dream straight out of central committee

    Section 77. Cannabis Advisory Board………..

    SECTION 4. The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 64M the following chapter:

    CHAPTER 64N.

    MARIJUANA TAX.

    SECTION 5. The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 94F the following chapter:

    CHAPTER 94G

    REGULATION OF THE USE AND DISTRIBUTION OF MARIJUANA

    NOT MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED

    Section 4. The Cannabis Control Commission
    ………
    on and on

    http://tinyurl.com/h6rh8c4

    1. The California one looks like a regulators wet dream as well. It is like the state liquor laws when prohibition was ended x100.

      1. Yes, it’s regulation all the way down. I have a friend who’s arguing against it because of that. I take the approach that it’s continued illegality causes a whole lot more harm than good, so I’m voting for it.

      2. That’s why the Libertarian Party of California is opposed to Prop 64:

        While the Libertarian Party has been a strong supporter of ending marijuana prohibition for over 40 years, this proposition does more harm than good, damaging medical availability, and creating additional criminal offenses and regulations.

  5. Marijuana has been partially legal for medical use in South Carolina for years. You have to use plant extracts, and get the marijuana from the one legal federal growing station used for research. That station is in South Carolina and has been for years.

  6. When Florida goes legal the tourism industry will explode. I frequent the Redneck Riviera mostly in the areas around Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Mexico Beach so I am more than ready for FL to go legal. Then maybe AL, MS, and GA will do the same….maybe?

      1. Ick

  7. It’s so unfortunate that my state is one of the few left with the “legal pot over our dead bodies” mindset. My fellows will have to be dragged screaming at the top of their lungs into this particular facet of the modern world, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re the fiftieth out of fifty to legalize. And I’m pretty certain I won’t be alive to see it.

    1. Kansas?

    2. Oklahoma?

    3. Wisconsin?

  8. Santa Maria Asuncion Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca

  9. The longer, harder fight is going to be prying the sticky fingers of the State the hell off the business of growing and selling the stuff. My experiences in States that have State Liquor Boards has not impressed.

    But these people in charge of a Desert and in ten years they will announce a) A shortage of sand and b) That ground up horse manure is better for you anyway.

    1. I find it troubling how long it took for craft brewers and distilleries to get their states to remove enough restictions to make those businesses possible. The first few states to get out of the way generated economic activity to the point that other states started wanting some of it. People just never learn.

      1. Good point about craft beer. They tend to be local small businesses as well with a product that is hard to compete with by larger firms. I live in Hunstville, AL. We have at least five local breweries. Not bad for AL but then Hsv is a bit unique, sorta like a Prog-less version of Austin TX.

  10. “AP PHOTOS: Hidden in California’s backwoods, pot flourishes”
    […]
    “In this Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 photo, Aaron Gonzalez follows a path to harvest marijuana from grower Laura Costa’s farm near Garberville, Calif. Costa opposes the passage of Proposition 64, the November ballot initiative which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, fearing that corporate interests and big farms will put her and other small growers out of business”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/…..o-11647738

    Yep, naked protectionism, albeit couched in ‘nasty korparashuns’ proggy rhetoric.

  11. Technically, Florida won’t be the first Southern state to legalize medical marijuana. Georgia legalized possession of a certain quantity for certain diseases in 2015. However, no one may cultivate, buy or sell it within the state, so residents have to go to a state where it’s legal and break several state and federal laws to get it back to Georgia.

    1. What month was it signed into law? Because Texas may have beat you to it (in June).

  12. Oops. Left out three important words in previous comment. Second sentence should have read: “Georgia legalized possession of a certain quantity OF CANNABIS OIL for certain diseases in 2015…”

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  17. See? What we are witnessing is the mere suggestion of libertarian spoiler votes changing the outcomes of cushy political jobs elections. That suggestion is acting to change the law of the land and sweep those issues off the table. In the 70s and 80s Reason and the LP were stark raving mad for suggesting that the Assassin of Youth Killer Weed be unleashed as it had been for centuries before 1937 reflected a resurgence of prohibitionist fanaticism in the 1936 election campaign.
    After George W Bush faith-based asset-forfeiture real estate confiscations and bank account seizures running into the billions coincided with subprime mortgage rate resets and balloon payments maturing and collapsed the economy, These States are waking up and prohibition is gonna have to go the way of whites-only restrooms, baiting queers and making beer a felony. It’s either that or see lots of libertarians get elected. The Kleptocracy wouldn’t want that.

  18. My guess is that Arizona will pass legalization and regulation. Although our polls showed 48% support there were also about 6 or 8% that continued to be undecided. It will not take very many to tip the scales. The prohibitionists here are throwing a lot of money in to deceptive and blatantly false ads that are being debunked by any who fact check. For example, they show the Denver school superintendent saying that Denver schools received no money from marijuana legalization. The fact is that this superintendent did not care enough for the schools there to apply for those funds. Now he is being paid to make an ad to prohibit marijuana in Arizona? These are truly despicable folks with their own agenda who clearly don’t give a s*#t about kids. Legalize and regulate in 2016.

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