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Washington State Poll Shows Strong Support For Marijuana Legalization

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Washington State Marijuanaby Joel Connelly

A majority of Washington voters lean toward supporting legalized marijuana in the state, but many say they “need to know more,” according to a newly released Elway Poll.

“There were equivalent numbers of ‘definite supporters’ and ‘definite opponents’ among the 408 voters interviewed by The Elway Poll last week: However, there were twice as many who were ‘inclined to support’ legalization as ‘inclined to oppose’,” the poll reported.

Overall, 54 percent of those surveyed definitely support marijuana legalization or are “inclined to support it but I need to know more”: 43 percent are definitely opposed or inclined to oppose. Just 3 percent are undecided on the issue.

The poll found that pot reveals cleavages by geography, age and political affiliation across the Evergreen State.

A high 77 percent of Seattle voters definitely support or are inclined to support legalization of cannabis. Just 9 percent are definitely opposed. In Eastern Washington, by contrast, supporting categories total just 41 percent, with 48 percent definitely opposed to legalization.

Sixty percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Independents definitely support or are inclined to support marijuana legalization. But 60 percent of Republicans surveyed by Elway were “definitely opposed” – despite support from such conservative voices as The Seattle Times editorial page.

Seniors are far more likely to turn up their noses at cannabis, despite arguments that smoking or ingesting marijuana eases pain. Fifty-seven percent of those over 65 in the survey told Elway they are definitely opposed or inclined to oppose.

Among those aged 18 to 35, by contrast, 63 percent could be found in the “definitely” or “inclined” support categories, with just 28 percent definitely opposed to legalization.

As well, a small but definite gender gap was revealed in the poll.

Fifty-nine percent of men surveyed in the poll came down in the two support categories, compared to 49 percent of women. Thirty-five percent of women are definitely opposed to legalization, and just 30 percent of men.

A proposal, announced last month with bipartisan backing, would authorize state government to license and tax sales of marijuana. The Elway Poll reported:

“The idea that state government would license and tax marijuana sales was a net positive. Overall, more survey respondents said that would make them more inclined to favor (44 percent) than to oppose (30 percent) the initiative now circulating to legalize marijuana in Washington state.

Possession and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. A left-right team of Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, recently introduced legislation that would put states in control over legalization.

Article From seattlepi.com

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  • Jillian Galloway

    On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” After forty years of trying to destroy “the drug menace in America” we still *haven’t* been able to destroy it and it still *hasn’t* destroyed us. Four decades is long enough to realize that on this important issue, President Nixon was wrong! All actions taken as a result of his invalid and paranoid assumptions (e.g. the federal marijuana prohibition) should be ended immediately!

    It makes no sense for taxpayers to fund the federal marijuana prohibition when it *doesn’t* prevent people from using marijuana and it *does* make criminals incredibly wealthy and incite the Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people every year.

    We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales – to keep unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

    “There’s something extraordinarily perverse when we’re so concerned about preventing addicts from having access to drugs that we destroy the lives of many times more people, either through untreated pain or other drug war damage”.

  • I feel this would be a step in the right direction toward making Pot work to help our damaged economies. Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html Drop in and let me know what you think!