by David Downs
The California ballot initiative to tax and regulate cannabis similar to alcohol is celebrating the latest Public Policy Polling results, which show Prop 19 winning among the electorate. Public Policy Polling took an automated survey of 630 likely California voters from September 14th to 16th. Forty-seven percent supported it, 38 percent did not, with 14 percent were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 3.9 percent. The professional pollsters also found young voters playing a major role in the normally sleepy mid-term election, which is good news for state Democrats:
"A big question to contemplate in California is whether the marijuana initiative is helping to stifle the enthusiasm gap Democrats are dealing with in most other states, particularly when it comes to intended turnout from young voters. We're seeing a much higher level of interest in this election from voters under 45 in California than in most places and those folks are highly favorable toward Proposition 19, planning to vote for it by a 54/34 margin," Public Policy Polling states. "Those same young voters are fueling much of the lead for Jerry Brown in the Governor's race and Barbara Boxer in the Senate- if Brown and Boxer win they may have the marijuana initiative to thank for driving turnout from folks who would otherwise have been drop off voters in a midterm."
In other Prop 19 news, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has begun distancing itself from the California Beer and Beverage Distributors after that alcohol lobby started funding the No on 19 campaign. The booze lobby's funding of the so-called "Public Safety First" campaign has drawn national condemnation.
"The CBBD does not represent Sierra Nevada’s political interests in any way, and does not represent the brewery’s stance on the issue. We’ve requested the CBBD to remove our name from their list of members, and also to disassociate the brewery from this and any future political actions," the brewer stated.
Meanwhile, right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation - the same group that gave Ronald Reagan the failed 'Stars Wars' missile shield idea - has issued a policy paper denouncing Prop 19. While in favor of small, non-intrusive government, the Heritage Foundation says weed is so toxic and addictive compared to booze and pills that they're willing to suspend those ideals.
However, poll numbers show support for Prop 19 cuts across all parties with the backing of 56 percent of Democrats, 30 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents.