Most efforts to legalize marijuana have run aground in the face of unified opposition, says the New York Times. Mothers Against Drunk Driving led the charge in helping to defeat a 2010 California ballot measure. Law enforcement groups have also been largely opposed in the past. In Washington State, whee a measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana heads toward a vote next month, opposition forces have been divided, raising pot advocates’ hopes of a breakthrough.
An Elway Research survey last month found that 50 percent of voters either definitely or probably favored legalizing the possession of an ounce of marijuana or less. Some former law enforcement officials have appeared in TV ads in favor of the legalization. Safety concerns about drugged driving have been muted by a provision of Initiative 502 that would create a standard to measure impairment. A promised flood of tax money to drug and alcohol treatment programs from legal marijuana sales has kept some antidrug groups on the sidelines.