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Will California Finally Legalize Marijuana?

Sam Sabzehzar 2012-02-09 0 comments

Study Shows 62% of California Voters Polled Favor Marijuana Legalization

By LIKE WINE  |  Published in

Will this be the year California finally legalize marijuana?

In November, 2010, a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana was narrowly defeated (53-46) in California.

Convinced the time has come to legalize cannabis, activists are collecting signatures to place the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012 (RMLW) on the November, 2012 ballot.

‚ÄúWine is something that people understand can be used in moderation,‚ÄĚ said retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, who coauthored the voter initiative.

‚ÄúIn fact, a recent study found that 64 percent of people polled stated marijuana poses no greater risk to society than drinking alcohol.‚ÄĚ

In the report, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), 62 percent of California voters polled believe marijuana should be legalized, 67 percent believe responsible adults over the age of 21 should have the right to use marijuana, and 80 percent believe new drug policies are needed.

The report further indicates most Californians believe law enforcement spends too much time enforcing marijuana laws, which prevents them from concentrating on more serious crimes like murder, rape and robbery.

According to the FM3 survey:

  • 71% of respondents agree state and local law enforcement agencies spend too much time, money and resources enforcing marijuana.
  • 63% believe a main reason for severe prison overcrowding is the prosecution and incarceration of non-violent drug offenders.
  • 64% say marijuana should be taxed to fund public schools, police and fire services, and other vital services.

According to a summary prepared by the Attorney General, some of the initiative’s regulations include:

  • Decriminalizing marijuana sales, distribution, possession, use, cultivation and transportation.
  • Retaining laws forbidding use while driving or in the workplace.
  • Establishing regulation of commercial marijuana trade to match regulation of wine and beer.
  • Directing state and local officials to not cooperate with federal enforcement of marijuana laws.
  • Banning development of genetically modified marijuana.


California’s Legislative Analyst’s summary of the initiative’s fiscal impact

If the initiative passes, the potential fiscal impact on state and local government could:

  • Save tens of millions of dollars annually because state and local governments will no longer incarcerate and supervise certain marijuana offenders.
  • Net hundreds of millions of dollars in additional tax revenues related to the production and sale of marijuana products.

Jack Cole, co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a 50,000 member organization of police, prosecutors, judges, and supporters, said, ‚ÄúLEAP believes the citizens of California are¬†far ahead of the federal government in assessing a policy that will reduce death, disease, crime, and corruption, when they register 62% support for the initiative Regulate Marijuana Like Wine.‚ÄĚ

The State of California Drug Policy Reform Ballot Measure Issues Survey

The survey was conducted January 26-29, 2011 by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), a public opinion research and strategy firm with offices in Santa Monica an Oakland, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and Mexico City. In telephone interviews the firm polled 804 California voters likely to cast ballots in the November 2012 election. Margin of sampling error is +/-3.5% at the 95% confidence level. Margins for subgroups within the sample will be higher.

To obtain a copy of the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012 (RMLW), The FMR Poll Report and PowerPoint Presentation, or to make donations for obtaining signatures to place the ballot on the November 2012 ballot, visit