WA: New Poll Shows 47% of Likely Voters Support I-502, 15% Undecided

A new survey of likely Washington state voters by Public Policy Polling shows 47% percent support I-502, an initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Only 39% of respondents were opposed and 15% remained undecided.

New Approach Washington, the group backing the initiative, turned in about 278,000 valid signatures at the end of January, a little over 20,000 more than required to qualify for the ballot. Since the legislature has declined action on the initiative, it will almost certainly go before voters in Washington this November.

For more information and updates on I-502, visit New Approach Washington’s website here.

You can view the full poll from PPP by clicking here.

53 thoughts

  1. This is bad news for I-502, but good news for patient protection. This bill is too flawed to pass now and fix later because it is a step backwards for patient protection.

    [Editor’s note: I-502 is not a bill, it is a binding voter initiative. In your view as a patient the initiative maybe too flawed, but, as indicated by a majority of polled voters in WA, as well as for the vast majority of cannabis consumers who don’t claim a medical need, support ending arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations–at taxpayer expense and with great and long-lasting harm to those arrested.

    Let’s hope political myopia is not a side effect ‘medical’ cannabis use…]

  2. When norml posted this of facebook they commented 37 opposed, 47 supported and 15 undecided which equals 99%

    on this page its saying 39 opposed, 47 supported and 15 undecided which equals 101%

    Maybe i just don’t understand?

  3. I have lived here in Wa. state for 15 years…when I first moved here I thought it was strange for the state to be in the liquor business….now that the liquor business is going to be privatized, why not have state run marijuana stores…

  4. Lets get this passed tired of locking up people that aren’t hurting others what they do in there homes is not my busines
    Plus I am all for taxing it big time.

  5. There is also another initiative on the ballot 1202 that has provisions for medical cannabis. With both on the ballot, I fear there will be confusion and neither will pass. Hope I’m wrong.

  6. Fact is, I haven’t met a dispensary owner in favor of this bill yet. Legal marijuana is ideal but we can’t be mad at each other unless profit intentions being intended. If 503 or another legislature passes and than growers, the people that love gardening, that speak to plants are intruded on than the bill will be a bad bill (just like what is going on now – nothing is perfect). Right now, Washington has nothing but quality bid, a million dollar spiritual industry, do we really want to mess with what is kind of working right now? Why not make that better? Anyways, nothing but respect to NORML, thank you for your best interest and mine.

  7. “Researchers today are working toward elucidating the mechanism of action of the cannabinoids. Recent work provides compelling evidence that its pharmacologic effects are caused by interaction with a specific receptor rather than by influencing membrane fluidity.”(23)

    “It is clear from the available data that cannabinoid receptors do exist and that they are present in mammalian tissues in high concentrations. Particularly important factors in the discovery of these receptors, have been the detection of large amounts of specific, high-affinity cannabinoid binding sites, appropriately distributed in the brain, and the cloning of a functional cannabinoid receptor. These findings are backed up by evidence that cannabinoids show a remarkable degree of chemical selectivity and stereoselectivity, that many of them are highly potent agents, that cannabinoids can interact with certain classical second messenger systems, and that the structural and geometric features of cannabinoid molecules governing their ability to interact with cannabinoid binding sites or second messenger systems closely resemble those thought to account for their characteristic pharmacological properties. That the cannabinoid receptor is a new class of receptor is indicated primarily by the finding that its amino acid sequence differs significantly from that of any other known type of receptor and by evidence that its recognition site shows a high degree of selectivity for cannabimimetic agents.”(25)

    “In view of the strength of the evidence for the existence of cannabinoid receptors, the once held idea that the psychotropic activity of cannabinoids stems primarily from their known ability to interact with membrane lipids is no longer tenable.”(26)

    Both science and religion are in support of this and for some odd, mysterious, unexplainable reason(s) its still illegal and frowned upon. Bookocky. Own up to it.

  8. 47% approve means 53% dont approve in the media’s eyes, which means they can set in place voter fraud and make this bill fail. just like cali….if there is any doubt on a vote then the government and media make it approve/disapproved according to their thoughts.

  9. Realistically, this fear you can probably put to rest.

    There is not another initiative measure on the ballot in November. I-1202, which it appears must be refiled and assigned another number, has little likelihood of gathering the requisite signatures to appear on the ballot.

    Also, Phillip Dawdy has announced intentions to file a medical cannabis initiative.

    Again, there is little chance that it will receive the necessary number of signatures to appear on the ballot.

    To get an initiative placed on the ballot requires organization, money, and broad support, and lots of committed volunteers. To get an initiative passed is even a more daunting task.

    These poll numbers merely detail what our task must be, educating the voters about I-502, the measure that will appear on the November ballot.

  10. One thing further. It is remarkable that we are seeing, at this point, little active campaigning against I-502 by the prohibitionists.

    Why should they? Their defacto surrogates are doing it for them! We are spending most of our time defending ourselves against the vocal minority of “patients (and dispensary owners) against I-502.”

    Does anyone else get the impression the feds are just sitting back and laughing their asses off as we battle among ourselves?

    I feel it is time to move on. The NAW position has been stated clearly and questions and concerns addressed. NORML and other key advocacy groups have endorsed the cause. It is clear that the opponents position is not susceptible to change and arguing is pointless. Of course, we must point out the factual errors they spread, but the time for arguing with them should be over.

    While i usually resist binary reductions, when it comes to the ballot box one cannot deny that there is no difference between a “No” vote cast by a rabid prohibitionist to maintain marijuana prohibition or someone who is not a prohibitionist but against I-502. If I-502 fails the message will be that it was society’s rejection of marijuana legalization. And that will embolden all who resist marijuana law reform. The ballot box registers no subtleties in position

    The DUI-C provision was placed in the initiative to address a major public concern and increase the chances of passage to end the evils of marijuana prohibition. We must stop allowing those in the medical cannabis industry to direct our campaign by their hysteria promoting tactics. Let’s stop apologizing for I-502 and taut that we have actually placed a legalization measure on the ballot and rejoice in this remarkable achievement.

    Our number one weapon in the war against marijuana prohibition is the truth about the present evils of marijuana prohibition. Time to start spreading it.

  11. I don’t really get why patients are saying this bill is bad, it stops the arrest of many innocent people for smoking marijuana and all we have to do is take on a couple flawed parts. This bill is a stepping stone not a solution, if this never gets passed then it still gives dispensary a big target over their head for breaking violations. With this bill it creates a sense of that everyone can smoke and they can’t just check everyone and therefore it creates acceptance.

  12. I recently wrote Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative Dicks. Dicks wrote back that he didn’t support legalizing cannabis because of the “negative elements”. When pressed just exactly what those negative elements were, I got no reply. The first time I wrote Cantwell and Murray I got canned response. This time, too, however, Cantwell included this: “At this time, this legislation does not have a companion bill in the U.S. Senate(referring to a bill in the House).” My response was: “Then what are you waiting for? Why don’t YOU sponsor the bill?”

    Still waiting for a reply, but I won’t hold my breath….

  13. I’m a retire Peace Officer from California and I support the legalization of marijuana. I know all about the pros and cons. The only ones benefiting this prohibition are the cartels, street dealers, gang members and yes your local Law Enforcement agency.

  14. I also remind those who are against 502 about what is happening in California now. The Federal crackdown on the cannabis industry. Dispensaries being forced out of business. Raids everywhere. I bet some are wishing now that Prop 19 passed!

  15. @ not Spicoli

    You hit the nail on the head.

    I recall after the near pass (47%) of Prop 19 in California, every Tom, Dick and Harry prohibitionist and corporate yellow journalist came out pronouncing the sound defeat of the proposition. Considering it wasn’t an election year and there was a lower youth voter turnout, it was actually a clear indictment against prohibition: how many other actions do we allow our justice system to terrorize our citizens over?

    But any that do not pass, will be treated similarly…a no vote is a yes vote for further prohibition.

  16. After reading these comments and following up on the links, this is what I surmise:

    Other than Prop. 19 in CA, which seemed funded basically by a medical marijuana dispensary owner in Oakland who wanted to legalize the herb for everyone, not just people who claim to need it medically all of the other pro-mj reform initiatives have been funded by the same funders and policy makers, including in Washington.

    It seems improbable that if I-502 is to lose in WA by a few percentage points, and this can be attributed to organizations like Patients Against I-502, these out of state funders will take their $ to other states where small groups of vested interests are not going to actively oppose their reform efforts.

    This would be a bummer for Washington because there is no history in the state (or any other save for the example above from CA in 2010) of in-state activists being able to organize and fund themselves to actually change the states laws in regards to mj.

    If some of the more obvious beneficiaries in WA of these funders’ past successful and liberating efforts succeed in losing I-502 by a few percentage points, it is hard to imagine that these funders will spend anymore time and money in WA working on what otherwise has been a productive dozen year run in the state, instead looking to states like: VT, ME, MA, CA, CO, CT, NH, OR, HI and AK

    If this happens, citizens in WA will likely be left with big protest events like Hempfest, but the folks angry or having fun in the park don’t change laws in WA–legislation and initiatives has–and that will likely stop if I-502 loses because activists calling themselves patients opposing a legalization initiative have never actually reformed the state’s laws….only benefiting from the work of others and out-of-state funders.

    For the anti-legalization initiative organization in WA, this might be a good example of “beware what you want, or you might just get it.”

  17. Who is Public Policy Polling?

    15% undecided is large for any poll question, so much so that the I’m curious about the sample size.

    And they use the Mexican slang term “marijuana” in their questions, and not the genus name “Cannabis.” This states the initiative in foreign terms, to people who may already have a heavily-conditioned bias against anything south of the Rio Grande and the appallingly rampant and unpunished murder of thousands.

    The use of the foreign term has never helped the cause of Cannabis, in fact it helped prohibition because people then did not know that “marijuana” publicized as a Mexican threat, was actually the synonym for HEMP or CANNABIS, that they were the same things.

  18. I wholeheartedly agree with Jim about the use of a stigmatized name for cannabis. Marijuana is racist and was used specifically for invoking fear. IMO, even sites like this should use the proper name of cannabis or hemp, depending on the use.

  19. Since conventional political wisdom is you need at least 60% support to have a realistic chance at winning, the gloomy weather forecast on the initiative looks doomed. A snowball’s chance in hell. They were at 54% this past July, so support is going downhill.

  20. Moved from CA to WA in March of 2010. I was disappointed in the outcome of Prop. 19. I believe if the med can community used its resources and influence it may have had a chance. I will be proudly voting yes in November for I-502. I hear a lot of complaints about how the bill isnt perfect by the medical cannabis community, but guess what? The world isn’t perfect, science and more good legislation can fix any issues later. This must get passed while the ball is rolling and we have momentum on our side. It would be irresponsible not to do something because its not “perfect”. If the 50,000 mexicans that have died since 2006 and the over 1,000,000 Americans incarcerated in the past forty years because of cannabis probibition could’ve changed those results with a yes vote on an imperfect initiative I believe they would do so. The potential gains far outweigh any potential negatives. Yes on I-502!

  21. I’m sorry Troy but your arguments do not hold much weight. I won’t spend time dismantling them all so I will only respond to your first one. You said that I-502 provides for no protection against federal prosecution, well I don’t seem to remember any other legislation on the books in Washington or any other state for that matter that does, medical or otherwise. To suggest that legalization in the form that will be provided by I-502 is not better than what WA state currently has is ludicrous, and you know it.

  22. Troy Barber raises valid points. If the law requires federal dependence, the remnants must be positive; otherwise, like riders, a sneaky law got into place.

    Troy is equally right when he says the notion of passing a law to reform this one is improbable. Get it right the first time.

    However, the movement can’t Catch-22 itself because of current federal non-co-operation. The benefits of a state repealing cannabis prohibition, even symbolically until federal laws reform, will generate more in the national spirit than the law failing.

    Repealing prohibition is the utmost priority.

  23. NOTSPICOLI..FEEDBACK The reason why u do not see anti add for not voting this in Is because they know that pot heads do not vote. In risk management u have to look what is worth spending money on and not. And they Know from experience pot head do not vote. Iknow if i was in charge that the first thing that is brought to the ones who are pro cannabis prohibition is the fact that if pot head vote cannabis prohibition would be over. .

  24. Jim u are right marijuana trans late to English and ill try to spell this right (marywindoe) As a person who is drunk on wine.

  25. Hi,
    I just got this email from SAFER today that says::
    “Driving while impaired by marijuana is already a crime in Colorado. This new law would needlessly and unfairly target medical marijuana patients who could have a higher level of THC in their blood without being impaired. Such potentially damaging legislation should not be enacted unless there is agreement among the scientific community that such a limit is reasonable and necessary. Currently, that is not the case.”

    This seems similar to the DUI laws of I-502, that they have no scientific base and people who are unimpaired but with cannabis still in their system can be incarcerated. Is that the case?

    Also, is it the case that with I-502, a 75% tax will be applied, driving up the cost of cannabis near $1,000 an ounce?

    The repeal of prohibition means a decrease in incarceration and a decrease in price.

  26. With less people going to the poles out of frustration with the presidential run, I wonder how this vote will turn out…

  27. Quick being so picky people even if this isn’t perfect this is an attempt to legalize. If you are waiting for perfection I am sorry but it isn’t going to happen you just have to accept what you get then the problems can be ironed out in the future.

  28. almost a modern day robin hood story, we rob from the rich pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco company’s to give to the small farmers and bushiness associated with the marijuana movement. That being said It pains me to know that the nature of American business has and will eventually take the small farmer out of the future picture. Right now we vote on laws here in California that will create a regulatory system to tax and regulate marijuana to enable businesses to claim tax deductions and write off system for marijuana production and sales. It worry’s me to hand over that kind of power and the ability to speculate and interpret what is what in the industry into the hands of the i.r.s. and federal government, what unseen consequences will this bring!?! I do understand that is how our government works… we vote to make a law then we vote and make necessary changes and regulations and permits, due proses. I do not want to see the mmj world be taken over by a select few “moguls” with the financial backing and legal representation to make a monopoly of cultivation and production on a commercial level, Instead i think we should all keep our eye on the prize of outward legalization and not take the table scraps thrown at us from Sacramento and Washington and settle to vote on something that would still be illegal and open to federal persecution. THE BIG PICTURE IS ALL OF OUR LIVES, NOT YOUR BOTTOM LINE!!! WE WANT TO NOT FEEL AND BE TREATED LIKE CRIMINAL’S AND SECOND CLASS CITIZENS BY OUR PEERS AND GOVERNMENT, WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO PERUSE OUR OCCUPATION WITHOUT FEAR OF OUR CHILDREN BEING TAKEN FROM US AND OUR LIVELIHOOD BEING TAKEN FROM US ON A DEA WHIM, WE WANT TO LIVE AS EQUAL CITIZENS WHO CAN SUPPORT THEIR FAMILY’S NO MATER IF THEY SMOKE GROW OR PRODUCE. ITS A MATTER OF CIVIL LIBERTY’S AND NOT A MATTER OF TAXABLE INCOME.

  29. Hallelujah! I get sick to my stomach when I see people (like Mark toward the top of replies) say “I’m all for taxing cannabis!” Why?! Because the gov doesn’t take enough from citizens already? Why would you want to give them more money and power? Like ocelite74 above said this is everyone’s right. It is a plant for the love of god, man. Would you be OK then if the gov capped your ability to grow tomatoes – they would come and check your garden weekly and then if you violated they would smash your tomato plants and put you in jail. Yay. Good times.

  30. Well, driving while impaired is dangerous! When these laws are implemented, they will have to demonstrate impairment. If it isn’t part of the law now, it has to be added later. None of these negative bits or imperfections should stop you from supporting these legalization efforts.

    With it legal, out there for everyone to see, it will only speed up society’s understanding and tolerance for marijuana. _Cannabis_ is Latin. Marijuana isn’t racist, people are racist. I just call it vitamin M.

  31. Thank you editors for the personalized response. Your need to ridicule me and describe my position as “political myopia” without addressing the inherent problems of the DUI provision is telling. Someone stated previously that the positions are set and I agree. I will see you at the ballot box and pray that we will make a real DUI law for marijuana out of sound science. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to stand up for patients in your forum.


    Justin Kover

    [Editor’s note: Anyone who wants to read literally a public service about the pros and cons of I-502, and why ultimately even patients and the medical cannabis industry should logically support an important opportunity to have citizens at the state level vote in the majority for stopping the practice of arresting cannabis consumers, checkout this informative Seattle Stranger article.]

  32. Prohibitionists are helping Al Capone take over California, they want to bust Americans, one day we have think about that revenue, we gotta pay for drug treatment on demand somehow, we need that money – and we cant let Al Capone have it – and the banks – that money could kill us all in the wrong hands.

Leave a Reply