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Internal Poll Shows Medical Marijuana with 69 Percent Support in Florida

By: Monday September 22, 2014 12:52 pm

The United for Care campaign says Florida’s still on track to become the first Southern State to get a real medical marijuana program. On Monday they released a new internal poll of likely voters which found Amendment 2, Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions, with 69 percent support. Florida laws requires an amendment to get at least 60 percent of the vote for it to be adopted.

The poll found only 28 percent of likely voters oppose the amendment to legalize medical marijuana and the rest undecided. The poll was conducted for the campaign by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research over the past week. It shows support basically unchanged since their previous internal poll released in June, which had support at 70 percent.

The campaign released these new internal numbers after several independent pollsters showed the ballot measure in potential trouble. A recent SurveyUSA poll and Tampa Bay Times poll both found the measure at 56 percent among likely voters, just below the threshold, but these polls had a large number of undecideds on this question.

At this time Florida’s political insiders still think Amendment 2 is likely to be approved this November, but its victory is not guaranteed given how high the hurdle it needs to clear.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy, which is on sale this week for just $0.99!

Former U.S. Attorney Endorses Marijuana Legalization Initiative in Oregon

By: Monday September 22, 2014 9:06 am

The campaign to legalization marijuana in Oregon continues to steadily pick up endorsements. On Monday a former United States Attorney Kris Olson came out in support of Initiative 91, which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults. Olson served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon from 1994 to 2001.

In a press release Olson said, “I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don’t work. Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits.”

The measure has already been endorsed by the state’s largest paper, the Oregon Democratic party, the local ACLU, City Club of Portland, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

This announcement is part of the campaign preparing for its final push. While election day is technically six weeks away Oregon is a vote-by-mail state so most people will actually cast their votes several weeks earlier.

Very little public polling has been done in Oregon but a poll from earlier this year shows the initiative supported by a narrow majority.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy, which is on sale this week for just $0.99!

Poll: 65% Plan to Vote for D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 2:28 pm

Signatures for Initiative 71 being turned it

Efforts to legalize marijuana in our nation’s capital appear on track for an easy win at the ballot box this November. Initiative 71, which would legalize possession of up to two ounces with limited home growing for adults 21 and over, has the support of 65 percent of likely voters, according to a new NBC4/Washington Post/Marist Poll.

The poll found just 33 percent plan to vote against the legalization initiative and just two percent are still undecided. The initiative has majority support in all parts of the city.

Barring something radical taking place, the initiative should easily be approved by voters in six weeks, but because of the incredibly unfair and undemocratic rules governing D.C. that doesn’t assure victory. The people of D.C. are denied the basic rights of democratic representation and self-governance.

The federal government technically has complete control over all local laws in the District. Before becoming law this initiative must go to Congress for a 60 legislative day review period. Even though people of D.C. are denied the right to vote for any representative in Congress, Congress has the power to override laws approved by the local D.C. government.

Congress has abused the power to stop D.C. from adopting medical marijuana for over a decade even though the people of D.C. voted for it by an overwhelming margin. Maybe this time Congress will listen to the will of the electorate.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

Young People Know Marijuana Is Less Harmful to Society Than Alcohol

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 11:06 am

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Young people think marijuana does much less harm to society than alcohol or tobacco. According to a Rare poll of adults 40 and younger, 47 percent believe alcohol does more harm to society, 27 percent think tobacco does, and only 13 percent picked marijuana as the most harmful of the three.

In addition, very young adults are the more likely they are to see alcohol as more harmful than weed. Among adults age 36-40 the ratio was only 33 percent to 24 percent, but among those under the age of 30 the ratio was an incredible 52 percent to 9 percent.

I’m not surprised that young people feel this way because it is the truth. While it is possible to cause harm by misusing or abusing almost any substance, any objective analysis indicates alcohol use does much more harm to society than marijuana use.

Alcohol significantly impairs judgement and driving ability, which makes it a big cause of accidents. It is relatively easy to overdose on. Long-term heavy can also cause significant damage to vital organs, which is why it is responsible for thousands of deaths a year. This is not to say marijuana is completely without problems, just that it cause fewer problems.

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

Why Congress Voting to Ban Welfare at Marijuana Stores Is Good News for Reform

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 8:03 am

This bill is a good sign

On Tuesday the House voted for the so-called “no welfare for weed” bill which would prohibit the electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards from being used to make purchases at marijuana stores or to withdraw money from ATMs in such stores.

The bill is more a response to handful of sensational headlines than an actual problem, and given how easy it is to find an ATM nearby it probably won’t do much if actually signed into law.

Still I consider it a positive sign, indirectly, for the marijuana reform movement since federal law already prohibits the use of EBT in liquor stores and casinos. The reform movement has long asked for marijuana to be treated just like alcohol and that is basically what this bill does. This is one of the first small steps by Congress towards creating federal regulations around marijuana business like those for alcohol.

While very few members of Congress are willing to publicly endorse marijuana legalization, often actions are more important than words.

Since recreational stores have been open, the House hasn’t approved bills to try to force the executive branch to shut them down. Instead they have approved an amendment to help marijuana businesses get access to banking and this bill regulating how people use marijuana stores. Implicit in both votes is the acknowledgement that marijuana stores aren’t going away anytime soon.

The more members of Congress think about how to use federal law to regulate around marijuana businesses instead of completely destroying them, the more they come to accept the fact that they need to deal with the end of marijuana prohibition.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy


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