While Arizonans await news about Proposition 203, the medical marijuana proposal, here’s a related story from the state next door:
California voters appear to have rejected Prop. 19, an effort to legalize marijuana and allow local governments to tax the sale of the drug.
Prop. 19 received national attention, but relatively little money was spent on the campaign. While millions of dollars was spent on other ballot measures, the Prop. 19 campaign was modest by California political standards. Still, no issue received more attention around the state.
The measure was opposed by law enforcement groups and elected officials from both political parties.
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder had said the Obama administration would “vigorously enforce” federal drug laws against Californians who grow or sell marijuana for recreational use even if voters passed the legalization measure.
The Times is projecting Proposition 19′s defeat based on preliminary information from the National Voter Pool survey, conducted for The Times by Edison Research. The National Voter Pool is a consortium of the major television news networks and the Associated Press. The survey was conducted at 50 polling places among roughly 2,200 election day voters and was supplemented by a telephone survey of roughly 600 voters who cast ballots by mail.
Note that the Los Angeles Times inserted a caveat about the source of its projection. Interesting. Some political analysts believe voters are lying to pollsters about their true beliefs on the marijuana issue. When surveys were conducted shortly before the election by “robocalls,” the measure led, suggesting that people are more likely to be truthful if there isn’t someone on the other end of the phone who might be judging them.
Exit polls, of course, are even more intimate. The surveyor gets to meet the voter.