Marijuana News Roundup: Status of Ballot Initiatives 2 Weeks Before Voting

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Both Pew Research and Gallup have released survey results showing that most Americans favor legalization of  marijuana. Pew had numbers out earlier this month that showed 57% of Americans favored legalization while a Gallup poll released last Wednesday puts the total at 60%.

Here’s a list of the latest polling numbers in the five states where voters will decide whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use, based on report from Ballotpedia.

  • Arizona (Proposition 205): 50.4% in favor; 41.6% opposed; 8% undecided
  • California (Proposition 64): 51% in favor; 40% opposed; 9% undecided
  • Maine (Question 1): 53% in favor; 38% opposed; 10% undecided
  • Massachusetts (Question 4): 55% in favor; 40% opposed; 5% undecided
  • Nevada (Question 2): 47% in favor; 46% opposed; 7% undecided

Arkansas has two medical marijuana measures for voter consideration: Issue 6 is a constitutional amendment that would not allow the state legislature to make medical marijuana illegal again without voter approval. Issue 7 is an initiated state statute that would allow the legislature to make medical marijuana illegal again with a two-thirds majority vote. In Montana, medical marijuana was legalized in 2011, but the state legislature passed strict dispensary laws that were upheld by the state supreme court earlier this year and have effectively put dispensaries out of business.

Among the four states voting on legalizing medical marijuana, here are the most recent polling results.

  • Arkansas (Issue 6): 49% in favor; 43% opposed; 8% undecided
  • Arkansas (Issue 7): no polling
  • Florida (Amendment 2): 77% in favor; 18% opposed; 4% undecided
  • Montana (I-182): 44% in favor; 51% oppose; 5% undecided
  • North Dakota (Measure 5): no polling

Inside Big Pharma’s Fight to Block Recreational Marijuana
Marijuana legalization will unleash misery on Arizona, according to a wave of television ads that started rolling out across the state last month. Replete with ominous music, the advertisements feature lawmakers and teachers who paint a bleak future for Arizona’s children if voters approve Proposition 205, a measure that would allow people aged 21 and over to possess an ounce of pot and grow up to six plants for recreational use.

“Colorado schools were promised millions in new revenues” when the state approved recreational pot use, says the voiceover in one ad. Instead, schoolchildren were plagued by “marijuana edibles that look like candy”.

As Election Day approaches, the ads will continue, but the surprise lies in who is backing them. In August, the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics also cited concerns for child safety when, with a $500,000 contribution, it became the largest donor to Arizona’s anti-legalization drive. But their stated concerns have raised a few eyebrows across the state. Insys manufactures Subsys, a prescription painkiller derived from fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Read more at The Guardian.