|Graphic: Reality Catcher|
|A new poll shows Prop 203, which would legalize medical marijuana and create dispensaries in Arizona, with a 22-point lead among likely voters.|
New Poll Shows Prop 203 With 22-Point Lead
The voters of Arizona appear to be ready to legalize medical marijuana — for the third time.
A Rocky Mountain Poll released Wednesday shows 54 percent of registered voters approving Proposition 203, which would allow the medical use of cannabis, with only 32 percent opposing it, reports Michelle Ye Hee Lee of The Arizona Republic. Fourteen percent said they are undecided.
Another new statewide poll from Earl de Berge has very similar results, showing 52 percent of likely voters support Prop 203, reports Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services. Only 33 percent are opposed, with the rest undecided.
Proposition 203 would allow anyone with a doctor’s authorization to buy up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. The measure list specific conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and Alzheimer’s disease, for which doctors could recommend cannabis.
About 125 dispensaries would be allowed through which medical marijuana would be distributed. Patients who live 25 or more miles from the nearest dispensary would be allowed to grow their own cannabis.
Employees who are authorized medical marijuana patients would be protected from being disciplined ore fired solely for testing positive for cannabis. Instead, employers would have to show the employee was actually impaired, or had used marijuana during working hours.
Support for Prop 203 almost directly correlates to age and political philosophy, reports the Arizona Daily Sun.
Among all registered voters, two thirds — 67 percent — of those under 35 said they intend to vote for Prop 203. That drops to 59 percent of those 35-54, and 41 percent of voters 55 and older.
The proposal is backed by 66 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents, but just 40 percent of Republicans.
Arizona’s voters approved a similar measure in 1996, but found it stymied by legislative tinkering. Voters re-approved medical marijuana in 1998, along with another measure precluding lawmakers from changing voter-approved measures.
But the law was never implemented because both versions required a prescription by a doctor. Since the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I substance without medical value, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration threatened to revoke all prescription-writing privileges of doctors who wrote prescriptions for marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law.
Prop 203 gets around that by, like the medical marijuana laws in other states, requiring only a “recommendation.”
The survey of likely voters has a 4.9 point margin of error.