Is the tide turning against California’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative? The Los Angeles Times says Proposition 19 is trailing badly in its latest poll, which found likely voters opposing the measure 51 percent to 39 percent. Until recently, the initiative had led in most polls with support from about half of the electorate. Supporters of the initiative have not raised enough money to run the television advertisements needed to reach voters across the state. Opponents have not run an active television campaign, but historically, the burden of persuading voters usually falls to the proponents.
Top candidates for statewide office have opposed the measure. As the Times/USC poll was being conducted last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would “vigorously enforce” federal narcotics laws, even if the measure passes, and “is considering all available legal and policy options.” The new survey found the measure favored by Democrats and independents, but overwhelmingly opposed by Republicans. Men were split, and women were leaning against it. Both sides consider mothers a key swing vote and have debated whether the measure would do more to keep marijuana out of the hands of children or would increase use.