OLYMPIA, WA — The latest poll of Washington state voters shows Initative 502, which would legalize and allow for the sale and regulation of marijuana, would pass if the election were today.
Of those polled, 47% of voters support the initiative while 39% oppose it, while only 15% remain undecided. The poll, which was released by Public Policy Polling last week, also included questions about political elections and same-sex marriage.
“Washington appears to be headed for a close state election this fall,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “The Governor’s race, gay marriage repeal, and marijuana legalization issue all appear to be things voters are pretty evenly divided about.”
Washington among the first states to legalize medical marijuana, doing so in 1998. The passage of I-502 would make Washington the first state to legalize the possession and commerce in marijuana, putting it on a collision course with the federal government.
The measure would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot or a pound of marijuana edibles, and they could buy it through state-run stores, much the same way the state handles liquor sales. The state stores would obtain their product from state-licensed growers and processors, with a 25% excise tax at each stage.
Almost half (49%) of those polled were 46 to 65 years old, a critical demographic in any election, and were evenly divided politically with 36% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 32% independent/other.