Alaska voters will be voting on marijuana legalization next month, along with Oregon and Washington D.C.. While case law makes marijuana legal in Alaska already, it's far from the legalization model that is in place in Washington and Colorado where consumers can go into a store and buy marijuana for recreational purposes. Most polls that I have seen out of Alaska have shown the initiative barely winning, or even losing. However, those polls were flawed for several reasons. The most recent poll shows the initiative winning, and by a large margin. Per AmandaCoyne.Com:
According to a question on a poll conducted by local pollster Ivan Moore, Ballot Measure 2, which would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, is winning in the state by about 18 percentage points, 57.2 percent to 38.7 percent. The question about the measure was paid for by the group working to legalize pot in Alaska, and was asked as part of a larger poll that Moore was conducting. The sample size was 568 likely voters, and was conducted Sept. 26-30. The margin of error is 4.1 percent. (I'm waiting for the complete demographics.)
Taylor Bickford, who's running the legalization campaign, said that the numbers seem a little optimistic to him. Older internal polls showed the campaign winning, but by a slimmer margin, he said. However, the poll is significant in that it's the first public poll that asks the question exactly as it will appear on the ballot. A highly touted August PPP poll which showed the measure losing messed up the wording in the question. Further, the PPP poll didn't call cell phones, which are a key demographic in this race.
This is great news for marijuana reform in Alaska and for the nation. Every state that legalizes marijuana builds momentum for other states to legalize, and eventually, for the entire country to legalize at the federal level. I'm very hopeful that we will see Oregon, Washington D.C., and Alaska all pass marijuana legalization next month. If you are able to do so, I urge you to donate to the Alaska campaign as they try to make their final push to get their message out to voters.