Back to top

Marijuana Project – Proposition 19 in Perspective

Daily Dose 2010-11-04 0 comments

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner | November 4, 2010

Executive Summary

On Tuesday, California voters defeated Proposition 19 by a 54 to 46 percent margin. A post-election survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, however, suggests that this was not the final word on this issue in California. In fact, support for reforming the state’s laws on marijuana run well ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Our research, as well as national polls and election results over the past 10 years, show steadily growing support for reform in the state and the country.

Key Findings

National Polls and Election Results Show Ever-Increasing Support for Marijuana Legalization.

Public support for legalization has grown steadily. Public support for marijuana legalization is higher now than ever before. A collection of Gallup polls (below) shows that support for legalization has risen from 25 percent in 1995 to 46 percent in 2010. [Gallup]

Prop 19 set a new record for marijuana legalization ballot initiatives. Proposition 19 achieved the highest level of support of any legalization measure on the ballot over the past decade. [All data from]:

  • Alaska 2000: 40 percent
  • Nevada 2002: 39 percent
  • Alaska 2004: 44 percent
  • Nevada 2006: 44 percent
  • Colorado 2006: 41 percent
  • Prop 19 2010: 46 percent

Prop 19 received more votes than Meg Whitman, Republican gubernatorial candidate. Meg Whitman spent more than $140 million of her own money on her campaign, and received 41 percent of the vote. Prop 19, which wasn’t backed by a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign, received 46 percent of the vote. [California Secretary of State Website]

This memorandum provides key findings from a telephone survey of 800 voters in California. This survey was conducted from October 31-November 2, 2010, and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.46 points at a 95 percent confidence level.