New poll shows California tilting against legalized marijuana
The latest poll on Proposition 19, the ballot measure on legalized marijuana in California, found more opposition than previous polls. Prop. 19 backers dismiss the poll. Opponents say it is a sign.
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As to the cash-flow question, Prop. 19 hasn't drawn the kind of heavy money that usually infuses issues campaigns. Just $2.5 million has been raised on both sides, according to Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, with the “yes” campaign raising nearly $10 for every $1 brought in by the opposition.Skip to next paragraph
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Can Prop. 19 work?
Meanwhile, both sides are trying to address the issue of how the proposition might be implemented if it passes.
On Wednesday Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced legislation that would establish a uniform statewide regulatory system for marijuana under the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The bill would leave cities and counties the option to regulate marijuana sales themselves.
The bill undercuts several assertions by Prop. 19 opponents, says Mr. Angell of Yes On 19. First, “that the money generated by marijuana sales won’t make it to the state,” he says. And second, that "this is a regulatory nightmare, because it creates so many different regulatory bodies.”
Cities have already begun to take up these questions. In anticipation of Prop. 19 passing, nine California cities – including San Jose, Stockton, Oakland, and Sacramento – have initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot asking voters to decide about specific taxation rates for marijuana.
But opponents of legalization aren't placated by those arguments. “They’re trying to tell the people, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll fix this later,’ ” says No On 19's Mr. Salazar. “They know the public isn’t buying their regulatory scheme."
While supporters of Prop. 19 claim the measure will generate $1.4 billion for state coffers, Salazer points to the California State Board of Equalization’s updated analysis of Prop. 19, which refutes those claims. The study concludes: “It is not possible to estimate the potential revenue gain” of Prop. 19.
Those findings have provided the “no” forces with the confidence they say they need down the stretch.
“We are ... talking to the public up and down the state because we feel that if they get the right information about this initiative, they will vote no,” says Salazar.