Monday, September 27, 2010

Prop 19 Gains Support

SACRAMENTO - A new poll finds growing support for a November ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in California, but a hard-fought measure to suspend the state's global warming law continues to trail.

Today's survey by the nonpartisan Field Poll also shows eroding fondness for an initiative that would change the threshold for the Legislature to pass a budget from two-thirds to a majority.

Prop. 19 on the Nov. 2 ballot would legalize marijuana and tax its production, distribution and sale. A Field Poll in July showed the measure trailing, 44 percent to 48 percent.

But with less than six weeks until the election, today's Field Poll shows more voters warming to the measure. It now leads 49 percent to 42 percent, with 9 percent undecided, despite little visible campaigning by proponents and opposition from influential law enforcement groups and every candidate for statewide office.
"(Proponents) are not doing much, but voters seem to be reconsidering and thinking that it's not such a bad idea," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "But they've got to get above 50 percent. They're close but not there. And there's going to be a 'no' campaign."

People's attitudes toward the initiative heavily reflect whether they live along the coast (support) or inland (oppose), are Republican (oppose) or Democrat (support), are young (support) or old (oppose) and a man (support) or woman (narrowly oppose.)
The measure also is riding a wave of rising acceptance of marijuana use in the Golden State over the past 40 years.

In 1969, only 13 percent of voters supported legalizing marijuana, with far more preferring tougher penalties, according to an accompanying Field Poll report. Now almost a majority of voters back legalization, and majorities of voters of all types back the state's medical marijuana law approved in 1996.

Double-digit percentages of voters oppose Prop. 23. Bankrolled largely by out-of-state oil interests, the measure would suspend California's global-warming law until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent for four quarters. Republicans are the only voter group that backs the idea, but not a majority, with 33 percent of GOP voters opposed, according to the poll.

Prop. 25, the budget majority vote initiative, had strong support from all voter groups in July. But the measure, which is heavily backed by unions allied with Democrats, has lost some Republican backing.

"I think we're in the midst of a Republican reappraisal," DiCamillo said. "Now they're thinking through implications of what a majority vote really means."
Today's poll of 599 likely voters was conducted Sept. 14-21 for The Press-Enterprise and other California media subscribers. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Californians in growing numbers are supporting Prop. 19, a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana.

September 2010
49 percent
42 percent
9 percent
July 2010
44 percent
48 percent
8 percent
source: Field poll

via[ Press-Enterprise ]

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