Poll: Support For Legalizing Pot In California Sags

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Support for California’s ballot measure to legalize marijuana has fallen behind in a new poll of likely voters two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

The Public Policy Institute of California poll released late Wednesday finds that 44 percent of likely voters surveyed back the measure while 49 percent oppose it. Seven percent said they were undecided.

The same poll last month found Proposition 19 leading by 11 points, 52 to 41, with an identical percentage undecided.

“I think the burden of proof is totally on the yes side to convince voters that this is not just a good concept but a good law,” said survey director Mark Baldassare. “That’s not taking place yet.”

The drop in support was sharpest among independents and Latinos as backing from both groups fell below 50 percent. The percentage of Democrats behind the measure fell, though a majority still favor it. Republicans remained strongly opposed.

The Yes campaign must also overcome an enthusiasm gap to eke out a victory, according to poll results. The survey found that 67 percent of likely “no” voters felt the outcome of the Proposition 19 vote was “very important,” while only 40 percent of “yes” voters felt the same way.

Pollsters surveyed 2,002 California adults from Oct. 10 to Oct. 17 and identified 1,067 as likely voters. The margin of error among likely voters was 3.5 percentage points.

No on Prop. 19 campaign spokesman Roger Salazar gave credit for the decline in support to widespread media coverage of the contest, which he said has allowed opponents of the measure to get their message out despite little financial support.

“That has been able to blunt the chronic disinformation that the yes side has been putting out there,” Salazar said.

The Yes on 19 campaign blamed the downward trend on what spokesman Dan Newman called “misinformation and scare tactics— part of the establishment’s last gasp attempt to protect the status quo and continue the failed war on marijuana.”

The shift in sentiment against the measure comes despite a large influx of cash to the Yes campaign, which has raised at least 10 times the money of the opposition.

Billionaire Peter Lewis, a longtime drug legalization advocate and retired Progressive Corp. chief executive, has given nearly $210,000 in the past week to support Proposition 19, according to campaign finance filings.

Other recent large donations have included $100,000 from Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, and $50,000 each from Marin County philanthropist Stephen Silberstein and Santa Barbara biomedical entrepreneur Richard Mazess.

The Yes campaign received $75,000 earlier this month from Encino television producer Kevin Bright, whose credits include the TV show “Friends.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the heart of California’s pot country have reluctantly thrown their support behind Proposition 19.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 with one abstention Tuesday to endorse the measure.

Proposition 19 has faced unexpected opposition from outlaw growers in the state’s so-called Emerald Triangle who worry legalization could lead to plummeting marijuana prices.

Supervisors backing the measure said the board could not ignore marijuana’s role in the county’s economic future.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. a says:

    HAS ANYONE EVER BEEN POLL’D

  2. pat f. says:

    “That has been able to blunt the chronic disinformation that the yes side has been putting out there,” Salazar said.

    I see what he did there.

  3. Kennx7 says:

    YES on prop 19.
    Please, whatever you do, don’t be fooled by Diane Feinstein. She is completely exaggerating her side of the argument. She says bus drivers, police officers and fuel tanker drivers will all be getting stoned on the job. These careers also have rules against drinking on the job too. Drug testing for driving and other high-responsibility jobs will, of course, continue as always with or without legalization.

  4. Alyssa says:

    Let’s legalize a drug the kills brain cells, will promote driving under the influence, and send a horrible message to our children. Brilliance. Go California! You’re on a roll….

    1. annidez says:

      That drug is here; it’s called alcohol.

      1. Alyssa says:

        Since when does alcohol kill brain cells?

      2. GO GET HIGH says:

        DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPPORT ON THIS THEORY OF KILLING BRAIN CELLS???
        THE REASON ITS BEEN TOLD THAT IT KILLS BRAIN CELLS IS BECAUSE THE STUDY WAS DONE ON MONKEYS AND THEY WERE SUFFOCATED WITH A GAS MASK WITH MARIJUANA SMOKE, CAUSING THEM TO LOOSE BRAIN CELLS. THE SUFFOCATION CAUSED IT. DO SOME RESEARCH IVE DONE MINE.

    2. Mark says:

      Apparently you’ve already had too much (alcohol). This is very well established. Prohibition of use of any intoxicating substance by adults has always had a net negative effect on a culture. You need to Google prohibition of alcohol in the US from last century for some perspective.

  5. Brian says:

    HEY STONERS. GET OUT AND VOTE YES. Put down the pipe and stop being stoned and lazy.

    1. alyssa 2.0 says:

      Alyssa
      Why don’t you try reading a book (I’m assuming here that you are intelligent enough to read a book) and learn something, like maybe the fact that marijuana has NEVER been linked to the death of brain cells

      And also California is trying to do something to help strengthen the economy during this difficult time. What are you doing? Go California! You’re on a roll….

  6. Brian says:

    Save California. Vote Yes on 19. Stop being lazy dammit!!!! I personally believe that marijuana use will actually decrease. Legalizing marijuana will get rid of the mystery factor associated with marijuana and people will lose interest in the drug. I don’t think it will be bad at all. The pros outweigh the cons.

  7. redrazor says:

    You pro-19 folks are all crazy! I guess we should expect that from a bunch of adle-brained, lazy, pot-heads. Like Alyssa said: …”you’re on a roll”. Our society is in enough trouble already; but hey what the heck?? … as long as we all “feeeeeel” good, huh?

  8. GreenMachine says:

    Puff-Puff-Pass the damn law already!!!

  9. Laney says:

    Actually, to all of you who claim that there is no research to support marijuana harming our brains, you’re the ones who need to do your research. Various studies have linked Marijuana use to poor memory and perception skills, cognitive deficits, differences in brain matter, negative effects on infants exposed to the drug before and after birth, and other harmful effects. Here are just a few…

    Maybe you should consider this next time you light up. Oh, and instead of throwing insults around because your defensive about your pathetic pot-smoking habit, maybe you should do some research before you talk

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T0J-4GV8TB5-5&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1516626829&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=aae4cb3f89c7cded78582c67fc50e236&searchtype=a

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T63-4DCN07C-1&_user=10&_coverDate=01%2F07%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1516609685&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=2cd2f4c02f06aa3a5158337a6a8f7711&searchtype=a

    http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/59/9/1337

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/275/7/521

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