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Poll indicates fate of marijuana measure uncertain as more money pumped in to defeat it

A macro shot of a drug money montage. Marijuana and U.S. currency.

Foes of legalized marijuana are amassing a huge amount of cash in a last-minute bid to quash the measure.

The latest figures show Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy has so far collected more than $2.7 million. Most significant, more than $900,000 of that has come in the past three weeks as different polls have shown the fate of Proposition 205 could swing either way.

Whether any of that is having an effect remains to be seen.

The most recent survey, released Monday, shows 43 percent of those questioned in support and 47 percent opposed. That could leave the outcome up to the 10 percent who told OH Predictive Insights they had not made up their mind.

But what’s significant is that the same pollster, using the same methodology, had found Proposition 205 trailing by a larger margin of 40 to 51 percent just a month earlier.

Now comes the big fiscal push.

Less than a week ago the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry poured $498,000 into the anti-205 measure. That is more than four times as much as the business group had provided since the campaign started.

There’s also a new $115,000 donation from Virginia-based SAM Action, short for Smart Approach to Marijuana, a group that has opposed legalization efforts in many other states.

The pro-205 effort benefitted from a $110,000 donation two weeks ago from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

That company makes cleaning products, including those that use hemp oil. But various restrictions on growing hemp — essentially a version of marijuana without the psychoactive ingredients — have forced the company to look elsewhere for its supplies.

According to the firm, it donated $100,000 to voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state to legalize the growing of marijuana there. Arizona’s proposal is modeled largely after what voters approved in Colorado.

OH Insights also said its survey of the same 718 likely voters, done with both live callers and automated responses, showed 53 percent in support of Proposition 206 with 40 percent opposed. It would hike the state’s minimum wage, currently $8.05 an hour, to $12 an hour by 2020.

The measure also would require employers to provide workers with at least three days off of sick or personal leave.

That same question, asked in August, showed the measure with a 52-38 edge.

The most recent poll was conducted during the last three days of September and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. How much might have changed since then remains unclear.

One comment

  1. No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous, like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party ten days ago. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. A recent Federal study has reached the same conclusion. And legalization should improve those numbers further.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions

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