Voters Favor Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed Marijuana

The regulation and taxation of marijuana is going to be a fairly big issue come this fall. But, the question remains as to how it will fair.  In order to pass the measure, the supporters will likely need fairly high turnout. However, from a starting position, they could be doing worse.  Today, they released results of an internal poll:

• 51% of voters support the initiative on hearing only the title, with 40 percent voting no – an 11-point margin.

• 74% agree that “marijuana should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco.”

• 57% agree the initiative “puts police priorities where they belong.”

Now some of these numbers are kind of weird. Like why would you say that the initiative would put police priorities in the right place, then vote against it. But, I suppose 5 percent of the state is just kind of weird.

Voters generally likes the idea of the additional revenue flowing into the state, and aren’t all that worried about any changes that might occur.  Incidentally, my guess is that very few changes will actually occur, as teh federal government would likely step in if the measure passes.  Not that this fact should stop Californians from supporting the measure, but it is a point worth noting.

Finally, there is this convenient little fact for progressives:

The marijuana initiative has the potential to drive turnout among younger voters, newer voters and


• More than 3 in 4 voters (77%) say they have heard about the initiative. Awareness is high across all demographic groups, including newer voters, younger voters, young Democrats and independent voters.

• Many of these traditionally low propensity voters say they will be more likely to vote because of the marijuana initiative. Especially in a year when so many voters are turned off by politicians and the election process in general, this initiative can be a strong driver of turnout among younger voters, newer voters, Democrats and independents.

CDP Chair John Burton mentioned this during the convention, but it’s likely true.  In the absence of this measure, I’m not sure there’s any great motivation to rush to the ballot for any of the gubernatorial candidates. This measure, however, changes the game, even if just a little bit. So while Jerry Brown may not be embracing the measure, you can be sure he’s glad it is on the ballot.

Full polling memo over the flip.

TaxCannabis May 2010 poll memo