Marijuan Policy Project

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MPP is leading the effort in Washington, D.C. to pass federal medical marijuana legislation, as well as to replace marijuana prohibition with a system of sensible regulation and control. For more information on their past and present work, visit their Federal Policy page and take action to support their work.

73 Percent of Americans Want Medical Marijuana Legalized

By Reason Foundation, Wed, November 14, 2012

In October 1969, 84 percent of Americans opposed legalizing the use of marijuana, 12 percent thought it should be legal. Thirty-two years later in October 2011, Gallup found for the first time Americans broke the 50 percent threshold favoring legalizing the drug. Today, the November elections mark the first time voters popularly legalized the drug for recreational use. In Colorado, State Constitutional Amendment 64 passed 55 to 45 percent, and in Washington Initiative 502 also passed 55 to 45 percent, legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Source: Gallup

The Reason-Rupe poll conducted this past September also found the nation ripe for drug policy change. The nation is evenly divided over whether to legalize small amount of marijuana for adults, 48 to 48 percent. However, nearly three-fourths believe medical marijuana should be legal with a doctor’s prescription.

Young Americans are much more open to reform, about 59 percent of Americans under 34 favor legalization, as do 56 percent among those 35-44. Middle-aged Americans are evenly split, while seniors are most opposed 64 percent to 29 percent in favor. However, even a majority of seniors (58 percent) favor medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor.

Religiosity highly correlates with position on drug legalization. Sixty-seven percent of those who attend church weekly oppose legalizing recreational pot, but 58 percent support medical marijuana. In contrast 75 percent of those who never attend church favor marijuana legalization, as do 61 percent of those who only attend church a few times a year.

The gender gap emerges for recreational but not medical marijuana. Fifty-two percent of men favor legalizing recreational pot, and 52 percent of women oppose.

Interestingly, significantly more tea party supporters than Republicans favor legalizing marijuana (38 percent to 27 percent). Upwards of 55 percent fo both Democrats and Independents also support legalizing the drug.

It is surprising that only 18 of the 50 states allow medical marijuana given that nearly all political and demographic groups favor medical marijuana with a physician’s prescription.

With 41 years of experience since President Richard Nixon first called for a War on Drugs in 1971, fully 80 percent of Americans think this war has been a failure. Among these Americans a plurality (37 percent) think we should ease up spending on this failed war, but 35 percent think we should keep spending the same, and a quarter think the solution is spending more money.

Despite the fact that majorities of Democrats and Independents want to legalize pot, while nearly two thirds of Republicans want it banned, all political groups are equally likely to want to spend more money fighting the war on drugs (about 25 percent). About a third of all political groups also would spend less money, and roughly 40 percent would spend what we’re doing now.

If a political candidate were to take a stand in favor of treating marijuana like alcohol, thereby legalizing it, 43 percent say it would make no difference in how they voted, 29 percent would be less likely and 26 percent more likely to vote for that candidate. Republicans would be more likely to oppose such a candidate (47 percent) than Democrats (18 percent) or Independents (29 percent). But nationally it only helps a candidate among 31 percent of Democrats, 32 percent of Independents and 13 percent of Republicans.

Colorado and Washington states legalizing recreational marijuana is likely a harbinger of liberalizing drug policy nationwide. Interestingly, state polls before the election underestimated actual support for both measures. In Colorado average support for Amendment 64 was 52 percent, it passed with 55 percent; In Washington average support for Initiative 502 was 51 percent and it also passed with 55 percent of the vote. With national support hovering at about 50 percent, federal bureaucrats may soon find they lack the political support needed to continue the national War on Drugs.

Advocates Back CA Medical MJ Regulation Initiative for 2012 Ballot

A comprehensive initiative to revamp California’s medical marijuana laws has been filed for the 2012 ballot: the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act.

The initiative is designed to address widespread public concern over the confusing and chaotic state of medical marijuana laws in California. The lack of clear and unambiguous state laws regarding distribution and sales has been a major factor behind the continued federal raids on dispensaries and providers in California.

MMRCTA is designed so as to fulfill Prop 215’s mandate to establish “safe and affordable access” to all patients in medical need. The campaign is backed by a broad coalition of advocates including: ASA, the UFCW, Cal NORML, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, DPA, MPP, California Cannabis Association, the Emerald Growers’ Association, and others.

Sponsors believe that the MMRCTA is the most pressing and realistic ballot proposal for cannabis reform in California in 2012. Their campaign poll found that 70+% of California voters support uniform state rules for regulating, controlling and taxing medical marijuana, well above the 60% threshold that is regarded to be necessary for a successful initiative. In contrast, a slim 52% support full-scale adult legalization.

Sponsors have lined up start-up funding and are urgently seeking an additional $1 million in pledges for the petition drive, which is expected to launch around Feb. 9th. Donations can be made on-line to Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana.

See initiative text and summary

– Dale Gieringer, MMRCTA campaign committee

Read more.

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana has launched a website

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana has launched a website (, expects broad-based support and is lining up financial commitments from patients, doctors, advocates and individuals for efforts to qualify the initiative for the November 2012 ballot.

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana

The California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act Will:

  • Establish a self-funded Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement (BMME) under the Department of Consumer Affairs, which also regulates the California Medical Board and the Board of Pharmacy.
  • Outlaw the issuance or use of fraudulent physician recommendations.
  • Establish a 2.5% tax on the sale of medical marijuana to fund all BMME activities and pay for the registry system.
  • Allocate any surplus tax revenues funds — beyond those needed to run the BMME – to fund emergency medical services, low-income assistance and health services, scientific and educational grant programs, research into environmentally-sound cultivation practices.
  • Explicitly protect medical patients’ civil rights, which were implicit in voter-approved Prop. 215.
  • Mandate state registration after July 1, 2013 for every person in California engaged in cultivating, processing, manufacturing, transporting, distributing, selling medical marijuana for use by others.
  • Exempt patients and primary caregivers growing medical marijuana at home for personal use only.
  • Prohibit cities and counties from excluding the operation of state-permitted medical marijuana businesses, but explicitly permit the establishment of reasonable zoning regulations on the location of facilities.
  • Grant all California cities and counties the opportunity to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in their jurisdiction by voting affirmatively in a local ballot initiative election, provided they show that patients have adequate access to medical marijuana by other reasonable means.

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana Forms Campaign Committee

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 —  Committee Launches Campaign/Fundraising/Outreach Efforts to Qualify Initiative

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (FPPC #1343895) has filed with the Secretary of State as a campaign committee to support the California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act.

71 percent of Californians support the state’s law allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons. However, many Californians also want to see reforms to the current system to insure medical patients have continued access to marijuana but with clearer, stronger, and more uniform statewide rules. (See poll here)

The California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, filed by Americans for Safe Access and UFCW Local 5 with the CA Attorney General, calls for uniform statewide policy and oversight; uniform statewide taxation; and stronger penalties for fraudulent medical recommendations.

Read more…

CA medical marijuana backers ready ballot measure

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press 4:08 p.m., Dec. 20, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — Medical marijuana advocates want to create a statewide system for licensing, regulating and taxing the industry as a way of persuading federal officials to ease up on their crackdown of California’s pot clubs and growers.

After months of study, a coalition of medical marijuana activists led by Americans for Safe Access and a labor union that represents dispensary workers in Northern California, have proposed a 2012 ballot initiative that would create an appointed Board of Medical Marijuana Enforcement charged with overseeing businesses and nonprofits that grow, distribute, sell and test pot both in its raw state and in finished products like food items.

The measure was submitted to the secretary of state Thursday and still must be cleared by the attorney general before its supporters can begin gathering signatures. More…