Ballot Initiatives To Liberalize Pot Laws Enjoy Majority Support, Polls Show

Washington, DC:  Ballot initiatives to liberalize marijuana laws in Arizona and Nevada enjoy majority support from prospective voters, according to a pair of recent statewide polls.  

Fifty-three percent of Arizonans back Proposition 203: The Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 2002, according to a statewide poll of 569 likely voters conducted last week by the Social Research Laboratory at Northern Arizona University.  If passed, Prop. 203 would decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for recreational use, and expand the state’s medical marijuana law by mandating officials at the Department of Public Safety provide medicinal cannabis free of charge to qualified patients.

In Nevada, 56 percent of citizens support Question 9, according to a local NBC poll released last Thursday, up considerably from earlier polls.  Only 43 percent of respondents oppose it.  Nevada’s initiative seeks to amend the state’s constitution so that possession of up to three ounces of marijuana by individuals 21 years of age or older would no longer carry any criminal or civil penalty.  Public use of marijuana or driving under the influence of pot would continue to be penalized under the proposal.

Nevada voters would have to approve Question 9 this November and again in 2004 in order for the initiative to become law.

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.  Full text of both Arizona’s Proposition 203 and Nevada’s Question 9 are available online.