Last week the campaign chairman for a new voter initiative to regulate marijuana like wine predicted his group would collect over 10,000 signatures — in their first two weeks — or he would resign. Today is the deadline for their campaign to make good on it’s promise. True to their word, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine campaign is releasing documentation to show that they have met their goal. Furthermore, the campaign is releasing the results of an independent poll of professional initiative petitioners that shows overwhelming support by voters for the RMLW Act of 2012.
Here’s the report from Angelo Paparella, CEO of PCI Consultants:
“PCI Consultants, Inc. has collected over 47 million signatures, qualifying 250 plus measures across the country, and we have provided analysis for measures over the past 20 years.
This past week we put the new Regulate Marijuana Like Wine petition in play with five of our primary coordinators statewide. They in turn distributed it out to approximately 150-?165 or so circulators throughout California. At the time of this report (Sunday evening 11/13) we’ve amassed 10,421 signatures in six days. Approximately 7,000 of these signatures have been validated to date and we are running at 75.3% valid rate thus far.
We did a simple categorization of responses by having petition circulators ask the public to grade the petition on an A, B, C basis whereby A was the best grade – meaning the petition was of great importance as a topic that deserved a statewide vote -? on down to C as the lowest. Note that in the past the only petitions to get an “A” rating have been the slam?dunk issues at the ballot, such as increasing the minimum wage or support local governments or medical marijuana when it first came out.
About 75% of the circulators said the public rated the petition as an “A”. About 20% rated the petition a B – either the Marijuana petition was duly deserving, but other matters like resolving California’s pension system were probably more urgent. The other 5% fell into the indifference C category, “I signed to help you make your rent, buddy.” Those 5% are typical of any petition drive, people signing just “because” with no affinity for the issue.
One interesting response that we did not anticipate and we heard numerous times, especially from the better educated (and therefore the most likely voters), is the “medical dispensaries are such a mess, LETS JUST LEGALIZE IT AND BE DONE.” Other responses were quick and to the point, “yeah, its time” or “let’s collect taxes on marijuana sales”.
My reading of the notes from the 5 statewide coordinators is that a Marijuana petition would probably be a stopper (an issue the public goes out if its way to sign) – a lead issue amongst a majority of circulators. That is typically a really good sign for success at the ballot.”
Also, the RMLW has a report from their Statewide Volunteer Field Coordinator:
“In our experience, drawing someone to the table is as easy as asking, “Will you help us legalize marijuana this year?” The simple question stops people in their tracks and the signature is usually as easy as asking what county they are registered to vote in. Several paid petitioners have asked to use our petition as a leader for the death penalty one they were circulating. It was a much easier draw for them. Public opinion in this state seems to expect legalization as a given, they seem tired of the complications. Most signers do not have questions until after they sign. When they want details it seems like what they really want is talking points.”
Apparently, paid petitioners are asking to carry this petition for free, just because RMLW is such a powerful magnet for drawing voters to come and sign our petition, so that these petitioners can then get signatures on their paid petitions.
These results are in complete agreement with the latest Gallup Poll, which confirms a major shift with a record-high 50% of Americans who now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. That same poll shows a stunning 55% favoring legalization in the West.
The November 2012 Presidential Election affords proponents of a ballot initiative to change state law concerning the regulation of marijuana a strong opportunity for success. The most significant consideration is that the California electorate for the next Presidential Election will be considerably younger. Detailed analysis indicates that 21 percent of all voters will be under the age of 35, compared to just 16 percent in the November 2010 election. Also, in November 2010, 27 percent of voters were ages 65 and older but in November 2012 seniors are expected to comprise 20 percent of the electorate. As the table below shows, the composition of the electorate will be more advantageous for a legalization initiative, as a greater share of the electorate will be under the age of 40.
According to a spokesman for the campaign, “The universal popularity of our Regulate Marijuana Like Wine measure should not come as a surprise. After all, we created our initiative based upon the Economist/YouGov nationwide poll, which 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. Modeling our voter initiative after these important metrics has paid off and now there is every indication that this measure can go all the way.”
Online video endorsements:
- Gov. Gary Johnson
- Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
- Kenny Loggins
- Judge James P. Gray (ret.)
- LAPD Deputy Chief S. Downing (ret.)
- Assemblymember Chris Norby
- Lt. Diane Goldstein (ret.)
- Ed Rosenthal
- NORML Founder Keith Stroup
- Thomas Chong
- Rick Steves
- Vivian McPeak Seattle Hempfest
- Lynnette Shaw Marine Alliance
- Stephen DeAngelo CEO Harborside
- Alice Huffman, President California NAACP