Polls Show a World of Difference Between Marijuana 'Legalization' and 'Regulation' in California

CANNABIS CULTURE - Recent polls show marijuana "regulation" is much more popular than marijuana "legalization in California. Steve Kubby of the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012 team analyses the data.

A recent article by Phil Smith of StoptheDrugWar.org reports, "Marijuana Legalization Trails in New California Poll". According to Smith, "The Public Policy Institute of California poll had 51% opposing pot legalization, with 46% in favor."

However, we should point out that there is a world of difference between "legalization" and "regulation".

Regulation enjoys much higher polling and the recent poll by The Economist shows this, as well as the first petition to qualify for White House Review, and other initiatives at the state and federal level that specifically call for marijuana to be strictly regulated, just like alcohol, or wine.

Unlike other initiatives, we did our polling first and found that there is strong support, especially with conservatives and police to regulate marijuana like alcohol. So, bottom line, 46% support for legalization is probably realistic, just as 62% support for regulating cannabis like alcohol is also realistic.

This poll was conducted via the web, but statistical analysis was performed to qualify respondents, who were selected from YouGov’s PollingPoint panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by age, gender, race, education, and region) was selected from the 2005–2007 American Community Study. Voter registration, turnout, religion, news interest, minor party identification, and non-placement on an ideology scale, were imputed from the 2008 Current Population Survey Registration and Voting Supplement and the Pew Religion in American Life Survey. Matching respondents were selected from the PollingPoint panel, an opt-in Internet panel. Weighting The sample was weighted using propensity scores based on age, gender, race, education, news interest, voter registration, and non-placement on an ideology scale. The weights range from 0.3 to 6.8, with a mean of one and a standard deviation of 0.93.

Our polling company considers the data valid and so do we.

Furthermore, we expect even better results on election day, because the real question that will be in front of voters is this:

"Would you support an initiative to regulate marijuana like wine, if you knew that a former superior court judge and LAPD deputy police chief helped to write it and a conservative Republican congressman, assemblyman and college president have endorsed it?"

My guess is that if you polled this question, you would blow right off the charts.

In any case, everyone should take another look at our initiative and the unique marketing plan we have developed to win the hearts and minds of voters. Carefully consider the track record and experience of our team as well as the shock waves that the Rohrabacher endorsement has caused. Not only are we getting frantic queries from other activists and journalists who seek confirmation that this really happened, but even Politico commented nationally on the conservative Republican's endorsement.

Bottom line, this initiative offers a unique package that appeals to conservatives, while still securing historic wins for our side. The text is just a part of a winning formula that includes recruiting former drug warriors and conservatives who see the wine model as the best scenario for real and meaningful reform. And please don't ever forget, RMLW is the ONLY voter initiative that repeals ALL the marijuana laws on the books.

Polling Details on 62% Support for Regulating Marijuana like Wine

"Public opinion continues to evolve on the issue of drug policy, particularly in regards to marijuana. In fact, a recent Economist/YouGov nationwide poll found that 58 percent agreed with the following statement, “Some people say marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco. They say it should be regulated and taxed and made illegal for minors.” In addition, 62 percent of western region respondents agreed with this statement-the highest of any region in the nation."
- John Fairbank
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates

Here's the link to the polling study by The Economist Magazine:

Here is the poll under question 30:

30. Some people say marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco. They say it should be regulated and taxed and made illegal for minors. Do you agree?

Strongly agree . . 34%
Agree . . 24%
Neither agree, nor disagree . . 19%
Disagree . . 7%
Strongly disagree . . 16%

As you can see, Strongly Agree + Agree = 34% + 24% or 58% support. However, this was a nationwide poll of 1,000 respondents. When data just for the West was teased out of the results by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, the polling climbs to 62%.

Read David Malmo-Levine's "Battle of the Marijuana Bills: Why 'Regulate' is Better Than 'Repeal'" on Cannabis Culture.

Find out more at RegulateMarijuanaLikeWine.com.


Comments

46% is holding as we "Enter" the voting season.

We entered the last (2010) much higher and lost our lead after the Federal Government pointed out that Cannabis Commerce is right out!

So why are we still trying to pass Cannabis Commerce in 2012?

Wouldn't the smart move be to empower the California Citizen through private horticulture, use and private non-commercial trade protected by California law.

------

In what will be a dysfunctional 2012 our Legalization efforts are mired in the attempt to legalize the Green of Drug Money rather than the Green of Cannabis.

Its not money we're trying to keep out of jail

It's not money we're trying to keep out of jail.

Rather, we're trying to keep out of jail all the people who make their living, feed their kids, pay for their houses and consumer goods with the cannabis they grow and sell.

We are also trying to protect all those who can't bring themselves to get a doctor's note, and all those growers and dealers who attempt and fail to get Prop 215 to protect them.

Why should we let the pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and GW be the only ones growing and selling cannabis commercially?

"We entered the last (2010) much higher ..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_19_%282010%29#Polling_history

As you can see from this link, Prop 19 never polled above 56%. The wine model polls above 62% and that's without any promotion of the initiative whatsoever.

We're already taxed and regulated to death

the economic downturn will not reverse until these burdens are lifted. I'll never vote for more taxes and regulation ie corporatism. jail or enslavement is not a choice. Free markets are the answer not this nonsense we have now where all three branches of gov are selling us out to corporations and uber wealthy individuals. I would suggest one support Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Dennis Kucinich, or some other freedom loving person..

Prohibition is a form of taxes far worse than regulation

"We're already taxed and regulated to death"

How many wine grape growers or liquor stores have gone out of business? They seem able to pay their taxes.

Admittedly, the US Federal Government wastes lots of tax money on war and corruption. The solution isn't to end all taxation, but rather to end war and corruption. Then there would be lots of money left over to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, the fire department, the post office and other things you use every day.

Look at the prohibition of cannabis as a form of taxes. The "danger pay" asked by growers and dealers on the black market is passed on to the consumer. Your weed bill would be cut in half the instant RMLW passed. And the number of jobs opening up in the cannabis economy would remove economic burdens on the health system, the justice system, the welfare system and would increase the amount of revenue available for California to pay off it's debt.

The "free market"/"tomato model" has been attempted for 40 years by Jack Herer and others. It has never polled more than 56%. Regulation polls at over 62%. that just might be the difference necessary to pass this initiative.

62%

"The "free market"/"tomato model" has been attempted for 40 years by Jack Herer and others. It has never polled more than 56%. Regulation polls at over 62%"

I am surprised that it is just 6% higher for regulation compared with the "free market / tomato model"

I wonder if the public really understand such terms as "free market / tomato model"? Have those terms ever been used in a poll?

"The "free market"/"tomato model" suggests to me that there would be no regulations at all - what we in the UK call "decriminalisation": that is that cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence but it would not be possible to buy it "legally".

OF COURSE regulations would be needed / essential to protect consumers in particular the vulnerable, but why taxation?

The public must be told until they understand that the law should NOT treat cannabis like alcohol / tobacco BECAUSE there is very little in common between cannabis and those substances that kill millions globally every year and are not used as medication.

We must also ask, would we like to see an increase in cannabis use along with a decrease in the use of alcohol as a substance of "recreation" - not that alcohol "recreates".

Tax and regulate them in the same way and all it will achieve is discouraging the poorest from using cannabis.

And rest assured the revenue raised would be spent on weapons.

More pot cafes = more democracy = less tax $ on weapons

"I wonder if the public really understand such terms as "free market / tomato model"? Have those terms ever been used in a poll?"

The "tomato model" is an activist term meaning "legal sales and minimal regulations". The wine model is more likely to get the funding and the support to pass an initiative than the tomato model. I consider the Prop 19 model a bigger threat, and believe that the wine model is an incremental step forward toward the tomato model and preventive medicine against another Prop 19 attempt.

"The "free market"/"tomato model" suggests to me that there would be no regulations at all - what we in the UK call "decriminalisation": that is that cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence but it would not be possible to buy it "legally".

You can buy tomatoes legally in the UK, can't you?

"OF COURSE regulations would be needed / essential to protect consumers in particular the vulnerable, but why taxation?"

Because there are still things that need to be paid for: schools, hospitals, roads, firefighters, the post office etc etc etc

"The public must be told until they understand that the law should NOT treat cannabis like alcohol / tobacco BECAUSE there is very little in common between cannabis and those substances that kill millions globally every year and are not used as medication."

Alcohol is used as medication:

Wine has a long history of use as an early form of medication, being recommended variously as a safe alternative to drinking water, an antiseptic for treating wounds and a digestive aid, and as a cure for a wide range of ailments from lethargy and diarrhea to easing the pain of childbirth. Ancient Egyptian Papyri and Sumerian tablets dating back to 2200 B.C. detail the medicinal role of wine, making it the world's oldest documented human-made medicine. (26) Persians called it the “royal medicine” for its anti-depressant and analgesic effects in moderation and its sedative effects in larger doses. (27)

http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2011/07/07/Crystal-Clear-Glasses-and-Unbleached-Rollies

http://rosemelnickmuseum.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/medicinal-alcohol-and-prohibition/

Alcohol prescription by surgeons in the prevention and treatment of delirium tremens: historic and current practice
http://www.ghpjournal.com/article/S0163-8343%2802%2900188-3/abstract

"Marijuana and wine, while similar in that they are both relaxants, are not the same thing. Marijuana – even when used to excess – is much less toxic and dangerous to one’s health than improperly-used alcohol, and one day regulations will reflect that. But society will need time to adjust to the newly-found freedoms and responsibilities of a regulated Cannabis market. It will take time for parents who are unfamiliar with the effects of marijuana to see that it is not a threat to their children. It will take time for those who are currently afraid of marijuana use and marijuana users to lose their fear. The wine model will give us that time."

http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2011/07/07/Crystal-Clear-Glasses-and-Unbleached-Rollies

"We must also ask, would we like to see an increase in cannabis use along with a decrease in the use of alcohol as a substance of "recreation" - not that alcohol "recreates"."

"In wise hands poison is medicine. In foolish hands medicine is poison." - Casanova. If you don't think that alcohol has a place in recreation I'm willing to bet it's been a while since you watched or participated in a professional or informal game of baseball, a fishing trip, a wedding or a birthday party for an adult.

"Tax and regulate them in the same way and all it will achieve is discouraging the poorest from using cannabis."

Removing cannabis from the black market will allow the price to drop AND allow poor people to grow it without fear of arrest or incarceration - maybe some of them will get jobs growing or retailing and become less poor as a result.

"And rest assured the revenue raised would be spent on weapons."

That's a "lack-of-democracy" problem, not a problem that can be gotten rid of by getting rid of taxes or government.

The introduction of coffeehouses in the 1600's brought with it newspapers, common interest groups involving science and politics, and evolved into the cornerstone of the economics and sociology of dissent. Coffeehouses were the number 1 factor in the transfer of power from kings to representatives. When Ben Franklin and Sir Issac Newton met, they met in a coffeehouse. When people first went to hear Bob Dylan play, they heard him play in a coffeehouse. If there's ever going to be hope in transferring power once again away from representatives and to the people themselves, it will be done inside the millions of pot cafes that will spring up everywhere as the wine model spreads across the earth.

freedom

you sound like your against freedom?

You talkin to me?

I want to end the jailing of all growers and dealers in California and ... somehow ... you take from that that I'm AGAINST freedom?

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Public Opinion Led by Media

Please, do what you feel is Right - campaign for what you want - not what opinion polls essentially led by media propaganda suggest.

CONTROL the media, don't leave it up to those in power who will surely want as much money out of us as possible.

Of course, public and consumers need the protection of the law when it comes to cannabis just like alcohol - but of course the two substances are entirely different and carry different risks.

Cannabis is an extremely beneficial plant that can often be grown at home and those that cannot grow should never be subjected to high taxation or regulations so strict that they cannot get their medication.

Of course, profits must be taxed just like on everything else, and "legal" cannabis would introduce the same system of regulations that already exist on other consumables.

People say it is better to be taxed than busted - true!

It is also better to be hit with a wet fish than a big stick, but that is no reason to campaign for the fish! Rather, campaign to rid ourselves of the hitting threat

Have U participated in the California initiative process before?

"Please, do what you feel is Right - campaign for what you want - not what opinion polls essentially led by media propaganda suggest."

Jack Herer did what he felt was right for 40 years and it never got him any legislation. Basically the wine model feels like the right incremental step.

"It is also better to be hit with a wet fish than a big stick, but that is no reason to campaign for the fish! Rather, campaign to rid ourselves of the hitting threat"

Where will the money come from to put the tomato model on the ballot? It will come from all the pot growers and pot retailers that succeed in doing business under the wine model. Currently there exists no such economy capable of putting the tomato model on the ballot.

I'll Pick Door #3, Alex.

While both bills sound like a better place than where we are at now, [legalize] or [regulate], both have problems imho. 'Legalize' doesn't take cannabis out of the hands of the regulators, or completely off of California's templated version of the Federal CSA. 'Regulate' would create a similar mishmash of cities and counties with vastly different regulations -- a situation not so dissimilar to what CA has now. I would make the point that neither cannabis nor hemp belong in any Schedule of the CSA, not even Schedule V. It's not a drug whatsoever -- it's merely an amazingly useful plant with some medicinal qualities.

Just as some counties and jurisdictions might ban smoking outdoors at certain times of the year (fire season), there shouldn't have any particular restrictions on a reasonable number of plants in any locale. Of course, it's reasonable to set a threshold level by way of commercial retail sales for residential versus business or agricultural zones. Urban and more densely populated areas could reasonably expect that cannabis grown outdoors actually be done in greenhouses, if only to mitigate some smell and security issues for neighbors that might consider such to be a 'nuisance'. I wouldn't have any particular issues with restrictions on male cannabis plants only grown outdoors in agricultural zones, with all other locales restricted to indoors or greenhouses if only to control the dispersal of errant pollen.

You're asking the wrong question

If the question is "Is the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act the best scenario imaginable" then of course the answer is no. But that's not the question you should be asking. The question you should be asking is "Is the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act the best scenario that Californians would vote for at this moment in history?" The answer, I believe, is yes. If we are serious about stopping injustice and making progress, uncompromising positions is incompatible with our one remaining path to reform - the initiative process.

And by the way ... the word "drug" comes from the German word "droge" - which means "to dry" - as in "to dry herbs". Herbs are the real drugs and synthetics are the fake drugs.

Agreed! The Real Choice: Ideal vs. Achievable vs. Lame.

Agreed!

At this moment in history, everyone should be looking at what legislation is achievable in this State NOW, in 2012. Hopefully, our politicians will reject the threats from the Federal government that they have wielded like a police baton against every (afaik) State that has current or pending MMJ or re-legalization legislation.

States do still have Rights guaranteeing essentially 50 perhaps different experiments in small (d) democracy. The Feds have no business threatening the States when it comes to Increasing the number of Freedoms and Liberties that each might offer its' citizens, unless The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Rule of Law no longer apply.

Neither the Supremacy Clause nor the newer Amendments can constitutionally be used as valid arguments, since the Supremacy Clause applies to interstate commerce (not intrastate) and import tariffs, and the newer Amendments (excepting Alcohol Prohibition) are intended to set a Minimum Threshold on Rights of Citizens rather than a Maximum. Even the present Extreme Court would likely have problems with such limitations imposed by the Federal government, imho.

Close ... but not quite 50

"States do still have Rights guaranteeing essentially 50 perhaps different experiments in small (d) democracy."

Not 50. The real number is 27:

http://www.iandrinstitute.org/statewide_i&r.htm

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