Voters Back Pot Legalization, But Support is Shaky
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Voters Back Pot Legalization, But Support is Shaky
Posted by CN Staff on June 01, 2010 at 05:30:55 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times 
Los Angeles -- California voters, by a modest margin, think they should be allowed to grow and consume marijuana, according to a new poll that also found more than 1 in 3 voters had tried pot and more than 1 in 10 had lit up in the past year.The Los Angeles Times/USC poll found that voters back the marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot, 49% to 41%, with 10% uncertain about it. But support for the initiative is unstable, with one-third of the supporters saying they favor it only "somewhat."
"The good news for proponents is that they are starting off with a decent lead. The good news for the opposition is that initiatives that start off at less than 50% in the polls usually have a hard time," said Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.The poll also points to a demographic group that is likely to play a key role -- women, particularly those who are married. Men favor legalization, but women are split. Among married women, 49% reject the measure while 40% are in favor of the initiative.Denise Silva, a 55-year-old court clerk from Pleasanton, in Alameda County, said she is struggling with the issue. "I sway from day to day," she said. A mother of two grown children, she opposes drug use for moral reasons but knows people who have smoked for four decades with no apparent harm."It's still going to continue to be sold, so since it is, might's well let the government get their piece of the pie," she said. Both sides are likely to target mothers, Schnur said. The measure's backers, for example, could argue that legalization would bring more tax money for schools, while opponents could insist that it would put children at risk.The poll found voters closely divided on those arguments.The measure's supporters say marijuana taxes could raise more than a billion dollars in revenue; opponents dispute that. Among voters, 42% believe that estimate and 38% think it is wildly exaggerated. The November initiative authorizes cities and counties, but not the state, to legalize and tax sales.In Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the Green Rush with more than 600 medical marijuana dispensaries, voters are most inclined to see pot taxes as a way to plug holes in local and state budgets.Voters were also split over whether legalized marijuana would worsen social problems, such as increasing crime and triggering higher marijuana use among teenagers. Those concerns appear to have much more potency with voters than the debate over tax revenues. Among those who oppose the initiative, 83% think it would add to the state's social woes; 55% of married women also believe that.Raul Martinez, a Democrat from Woodland, outside of Sacramento, said he smoked pot as a teenager. He believes the measure would end up being expensive for local governments. "It's going to turn around and cost them more money because more crime is going to come from it," the 47-year-old father said.The survey of 1,506 registered voters was conducted between May 19 and 26 for The Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the Republican firm American Viewpoint. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for the overall sample and slightly larger for smaller breakdowns.Attitudes toward legalization diverge sharply by age, with support much higher among younger voters. A 52% majority of voters 65 and older oppose legalization. Among voters between 45 and 64, 49% support it. But among those 30 to 44, 53% are in favor, and that rises to 61% among those 18 to 29.Chris Donnelly, a 25-year-old substitute teacher from San Diego, has never touched pot but strongly favors the initiative and believes it could support schools. "It wouldn't bother me one bit if marijuana were legal," the unaffiliated voter said. "I don't think it's any more harmful than alcohol."The poll also offers an unusually detailed look at who is using marijuana in California.Among those surveyed, 37% of voters said they had tried pot -- a figure roughly consistent with federal surveys of drug use -- and that group strongly supports the initiative. The 11% who had used marijuana in the last year favored legalization by a landslide, 82%.By contrast, the 57% of voters who said they have never used marijuana oppose the initiative.Though certain types of voters are more likely to light up, marijuana use cuts across all demographic slices, reaching beyond the cliches of skateboarders and aging hippies.A matchup in the governor's race between Democrat Jerry Brown, who governed the state in the 1970s, and Republican Meg Whitman, the former EBay executive, clearly illustrates this. Voters who have tried marijuana make up 45% of Brown's supporters, and 37% of Whitman's. But both candidates oppose legalization.Among Democrats and voters who decline to state a party affiliation, 12% had used marijuana in the last year, as had 7% of Republicans. About a quarter of the voters in each slice of the state's electorate said they experimented with the drug in the past, but not in the last year.One of the biggest differences is between men and women. Among male voters, 45% said they had used marijuana, 14% in the past year. Among female voters, 29% said they had tried it, but just 8% in the past year.The heaviest use of marijuana skipped a generation. The youngest voters, between 18 and 29, reported the highest percentage of marijuana use in the past year, followed by voters between 45 and 64, who could be their parents or even grandparents. Most of those voters came of age in the marijuana-hazed Vietnam War era.The chance that a California voter has used marijuana is higher for college graduates than high school graduates and rises with income. Use is highest among single voters and lowest among married ones. Voters north of the Bay Area, home to the weed-raising Emerald Triangle, are most likely to have used marijuana, while voters in the Central Valley are least likely.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:  John Hoeffel, Los Angeles TimesPublished: May 31, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 02, 2010 at 18:13:35 PT
You're comment made me think of this song by Three Dog Night called Easy To Be Hard.URL:
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on June 02, 2010 at 17:30:08 PT
Mrs. Green
is a very blessed woman... and I'm sure she knows that.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by BGreen on June 02, 2010 at 17:25:22 PT
You're so sweet, Hope
That means so much to me. It touched me to tears. Good tears for once but waterworks nonetheless.You are beautiful, too, and I know beauty when I see it. Just ask my beautiful wife about my ability. :)Bro. Bud
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on June 02, 2010 at 17:11:59 PT
You are so handsome to me. So handsome. Beautiful in fact. Because I know your spirit... and it is indeed beautiful.It will be the second choice. I'm as angry and hurt about it as ever... but now, in the situation I find myself in, there is a new added element of hurt and grief... of course. I have always been appalled that sick people that even felt that it helped in the least were being terribly abused by their not being allowed to use it legally. Terribly abused. I felt for them, deeply. Now I feel it myself. How can people be so cruel... and feel pious and self righteous about that cruelty, too? How can they?It's wickedly cruel to treat people badly because they want to use the herb for fun. It is also wickedly cruel with an added element of something else, equally ugly, even more ugly, that I can't imagine any decent person could be involved in, to deny people the relief that they can find in using the herb. One day, history will view prohibition of marijuana/cannabis as one of the lowest and most ridiculous, outrageous, oppressive, and egregious points in human history.
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Comment #11 posted by BGreen on June 02, 2010 at 15:22:30 PT
This is a defining moment in your life, Hope
It's either going to change your views on MMJ altogether or reinforce your belief in how righteous your fight to remove the barbaric cannabis laws has been.I'm taking bets on this but, speaking from personal experience, my pick is easily choice number two.Whenever you feel down just imagine my face and the comforting look I'm giving you. I know you've never seen me but I'm sure I'm much better looking in your imagination. :)Bro. Bud
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on June 02, 2010 at 13:02:06 PT
You have no idea... well you might... of how much you're advice is helping me.Thank you so much.To know I'm experience the normal abnormal is helpful. Very helpful.
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Comment #9 posted by herbdoc215 on June 02, 2010 at 07:07:49 PT
Hope, thats normal and everybody in your position
goes through it...the fear, denial and panic attacks are just like clock-work when we receive news such as yours(as an aside Xanax works great for those dreaded moments). I've had days at a time when I couldn't sleep a wink because I was scared I wouldn't wake up, silly at the time but nonetheless real as heck in my mind. Just keep telling yourself...this too shall pass...prayer really worked for me, and know the Lord has a plan for you and your one of his instruments of change and he will bring you whole from this I believe and pray with all my heart. Now you will always have the special sight of those whom have stared at their own mortality and walked away the wiser and much more of a person than we are before, able to feel the pain of others loss as well as our own after going through something such as this. peace, Steve 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 02, 2010 at 05:47:26 PT
Thank you. Right now, all I can imagine doing is going through whatever is set before me by the doctors I'm seeing now.I don't know what else to do, nor do I feel inclined to do anything else.This emotional roller coaster is something. I had several hours yesterday of feeling normal, like light broke through the depression. It was so nice. Then it just left me yesterday evening and I was overwhelmed by the need to sleep.One minute I can be normal, with light shining in my soul, able to laugh, and a great appetite. Next minute it's like a terrible cloud is over me and I'm nauseous with dread and tears are flowing. And they haven't even started doing much to me yet! 
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on June 01, 2010 at 22:47:53 PT:
Hope - You may be interested in this free show
[Show phone number is in Palm Springs, CA. You pay only long distance charges to your phone service. If you can spare an hour this Thursday evening, check out the details below.]Jonathan Landsman, Host.
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Comment #6 posted by konagold on June 01, 2010 at 12:38:57 PT
given the current dust up over the Arizona immigration law the fact of the blatant racism of anti-Cannabis laws is being UNDER stressedthe 'M' word, Mexican military slang implying it takes two women Mary and Jane to satisfy the 'abnormal' lust derived from Cannabis use, is both racist and sexist [objectifying women] in only one word.Harry Anslinger said "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."and he testilied to Congress in 1937 that "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."racism is the Achilles heel of prohibition prohibitionist HAVE NO DEFENSE to the charge of racism especially as folks of color are arrested in greater quantities for so-called Cannabis crimes than their proportion of the populationthere is a legal axiom that one can not use the fruit of the poison tree such that evidence from an illegal search can not be used in a prosecution racism is such an poison treewhy are we as a movement not utilizing this which may be our greatest weapon against prohibition??
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on June 01, 2010 at 12:16:44 PT
Comment 2
That probably is a problem married women have with it.Also, besides the price going down in general... it might really get negligible for the product, if they or their husband practiced a little legal horticulture as a hobby. And if it was legal... there would be more peace. *sigh*More "Peace" is good. 
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on June 01, 2010 at 11:57:08 PT:
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Comment #3 posted by rchandar on June 01, 2010 at 11:55:50 PT:
A Concise Revisitation of the WoD
"there have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall."Here's a synopsis of reasons why prohibition must stand:1937-1982 moral. Drugs are immoral, are what commies use, are used and sold by people who want to destroy the American way of life1982-1995 racial. One of the first things Reagan did was prosecute minorities severely, criminalizing Black people as druggies.1995-2008 medical. It's a "super" marijuana plant. It's going to send everybody to the hospital, increase suicides, vagrant behavior.2008-present. Communitarian. We're all in this together, aren't we? We're the greatest country and we've got to stay the greatest. We can't increase the pleasure function of humans, because what we are is the best.Colonialism, Jim Crow, and so on--all systems of domination and mind control change their themes every few years or so, to require people to feel profoundly and finally that they are fighting something in a just cause. The in-your-face tactics of Drug Warriors are disconcerting: they project a notion of social superiority that is unhealthy and faceless. "There's no such thing as a winnable war,
It's a lie we don't believe anymore."But we can wage WoD, as long as we have to. Deepak Chopra talked about this when he was on the Tonight Show, a few years ago. If this country does not re-learn the virtues of peace, love and understanding, she will suffer and many aspects of the American experience will decline. We'll still be here, but will lose sight of what made our country successful in the first place.Democracy.--rchandar
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 01, 2010 at 09:57:04 PT
My Opinion About Women
I think many married women feel the amount of money their husbands have spent on buying marijuana irritates them. They know the money could be used for family needs. The price has to be a major factor in my opinion for the negativity. If they can be made to understand the price will drop very low more married women might not object.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on June 01, 2010 at 09:32:39 PT
One of the important reasons for citizens including women and may be more important for married women is to RE-legalize the relatively safe plant because the law will help protect their children. If their children use cannabis it would remove the potential danger of purchasing cannabis from unregulated sources, sources which often also sell honest hard drugs and put sales in locations which would be more free of crime.Women should be interested in helping their children live in safer communities and the California law does that.-0-This story illustrates that the married women catagory is one which needs time and energy to educate and that must not be overlooked.In Colorado, the farm communities were overlooked it cost Us.
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