Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Poll shows Washington voters split on marijuana legalization

Posted on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM

click to enlarge bud.jpg

A statewide poll shows that voters in the Evergreen state are evenly split when it comes to legalizing marijuana, according to the Seattle Times.

Elway Research, which conducted the poll of slightly more than 400 randomly chosen people, found that 48 percent were in favor of legalizing the drug and 45 percent were not. The poll has a margin of error of five points. 

This news comes on the heels of more than 300,000 signatures in favor of legalization — or at least in favor of considering legalization — being turned into the state's elections office.

Once the signatures are verified by the state, Initiative 502 will go to the Legislature to either approve directly into law, send straight to the November ballot for voters to consider, or amend the initiative's language, which would send the original initiative and the amended version to the ballot.

As the Times points out, support for legalization has softened since July, when 54 percent of those polled were in favor. 

Stuart Elway, who runs the poll, told the Times that the dwindling support should dishearten supporters, adding that an initiative should have better support in the beginning of the year if it has a chance to succeed.

"If you're a supporter, it's going the wrong way," he told the paper.

But backers of I-502 say once voters hear more about the initiative, support will grow. The proposal would heavily regulate the drug, sell it through state-sanctioned stores, raise revenue for the state and create a basis for driving under the influence of marijuana. 

As The Inlander pointed out last week, it's been a big year for marijuana. This attempt at legalization is just the latest.  

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