Poll Shows Growing Support for Marijuana Legalization in Georgia

Poll Shows Growing Support for Marijuana Legalization in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA — The number of Georgians supporting marijuana law reform is growing, according to a recent poll conducted by Landmark/RosettaStone.

The poll asked “Do you support or oppose Georgia loosening its laws governing the possession and consumption of marijuana? Thirty three percent (33%) said “YES” with nearly ten percent (9.6%) expressing “NO OPINION”.

These numbers are encouraging according to James Bell, director of Georgia CARE (Campaign for Access, Reform & Education), a marijuana law reform advocacy group.

Georgia CARE launched a public awareness campaign in 2012 to educate citizens, media and lawmakers as to why Georgia should investigate reforming its antiquated and detrimental marijuana laws that can land a person in state prison for up to ten (10) years for mere possession of more than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana.  The campaign has prompted numerous online and newspaper polls and public debate.

Bell cautioned that “Liberty and justice should never be determined by an opinion poll. We must look at these laws and determine what we have actually accomplished by arresting, prosecuting and spending tax dollars to go after otherwise law abiding citizens,” Bell said. Nearly 40,000 marijuana arrests occur each year in Georgia.

Bell also cautioned that this one-question poll may not indicate the actual views of the public, especially with the issue of medical marijuana. He said various polls have indicated the public supports medical marijuana and cited a little known fact that the Georgia legislature unanimous passed a medical marijuana research act in 1980 that acknowledged medical benefits from the plant.  Eighteen states (18) and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana bills and two (2) states, Colorado and Washington, have decriminalized “recreational use”.

“The best way to determine support for marijuana reform is to ask your friends, neighbors and associates their opinions,” according to Bell. Georgia CARE receives numerous emails and phone calls everyday from people in all walks of life encouraging their efforts to change Georgia’s laws.

Georgia CARE’s position is that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco and points to the 18thAmendment (alcohol prohibition) as an “ugly scar on our Constitution” that seemed popular at the time until women, clergy and doctors took to the streets and began to educate the public of the negative impact prohibition had on society. Opinions changed and the amendment was repealed.

“Georgia lawmakers are currently engaged in reforming Georgia’s criminal justice system and marijuana law reform should be part of this discussion”, said Bell. “This indicates a shift in attitudes among Georgia’s lawmakers. “

Georgia CARE applauds Gov. Deal and the General Assembly’s efforts to study law reform and CARE is seeking legislative support for study committees to look into how Georgia can responsibly reform these laws.

For more information visit www.gacareproject.com

  • wowFAD

    Sadly, while I wish I could be happy about this poll, the truth of the matter is that the survey was conducted by a very conservative pollster who runs a firm that only calls landline telephones.

    The original article that published the poll results also had a discussion thread, on which the pollster himself, Mark Rountree, argued with a commenter about the validity of his survey. Mark’s firm only called 800 voters in GA, but just 142 were between the ages of 18 and 39, while 209 were over the age of 65. Only 11% of GA is over 65, but the pollster thought they warranted 26% of his sample, while the younger age bracket, 18-39, was only 18% of the sample — despite the fact that we’re the state with the 3rd-smallest relative senior population in the country.

    The pollster defended skewing his survey to older people, at first appearing to deny (but only dodging) the guess that his firm only called people with landline telephones, choosing instead to falsely claim that he stratified his sample based on the 2010 voter turnout. However, that is checkable information. In 2010, there were exactly 2,622,527 *actual* voters in GA — 599,372 in the 18-39 bracket and 577,884 in the 65+ bracket. Younger voters *still* outnumbered older voters in 2010!!!

    The pollster lied.

    Had his poll *actually* reflected the 2010 election, he would have polled 182 (not 142) people between 18-39 and 176 (not 209) people over 65. He oversampled older, more conservative people by 33 and undersampled younger, more liberal voters by 40 people. He was 73 people off. That’s almost 10% of his total sample.

    To put it in perspective, 17% of the 18-39 bracket reported “unsure” while only 35.2% voted affirmative. More strange: the 40-64 bracket reportedly 36.5% in support. Are we supposed to believe that there are more middle-aged people than YOUNG people who support cannabis law reform?

    The pollster openly admitted that a survey that only polls landline telephones would unfairly marginalize minorities and young people, but then he admitted (under duress) that his firm DID only call landlines. The pollster then, however, admitted that he *did* only call landline telephones, to which he was shown a December 2012 report from the CDC that 35.8% of American households are cellular phone only, no landline telephones.

    IMHO, public support in Georgia is VERY close to 50%, but Mark Rountree was hired to produce a different number. And he succeeded by only calling landline telephones. Skewed polls done by conservative polling firms in conservative states are attempting to stem the tide of liberalism rising in their states. But despite Mark Rountree, young people and minorities who only use cell phones STILL VOTE.

    • iamanunhappyvoter

      My retired parents in Georgia and most of their friends that fall into what you would consider the older folks with a phone category support marijuana reform as do all the middle aged people I know myself included.

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  • jimheffner

    wowFAD, very well said.

    and it harm none, do what you will

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  • Slobslapper

    “Do you support or oppose Georgia loosening its laws governing the possession and consumption of marijuana?” is not a yes or no question, is it?

    • John Mielko

      is not a yes or no question, is it?…Yes…

  • smegma head

    Here are the facts. 1.2 million people die each year from cigarette and alcohol use and abuse. Presently, there are no documented cases of death from pot. Cigarettes and booze are legal. Pot isn’t. Why? See if you can apply your linear logic skills and figure this out.

  • Jacob Banks


  • jaye50

    you can forget this… christian fanatics run this state.. and that’s that…

    • Thomas

      I support legalizing marijuana and I live in Georgia. I do not even smoke or use marijuana. I am also a senior citizen and a very strong conservative that votes mostly Republican

    • John Mielko

      I am a “christian fanatic” but also a Libertarian .. its your call if u want to use it

    • Bad Dawg

      I live in Ga and never thought alcohol would be sold on Sundays. Liquor stores are now open on Sundays in Ga. There is hope!!

  • ram

    The reason for marijuana laws is the financial value of arrests. Lawyers, judges, police, drug test companies, prisons, rehab centers, and so on, all make mega dollars from users caught. ALL troubles of marijuana are because of the laws against it. The laws are not about right or wrong! It is about MONEY. Since I do not smoke I do not care, but the laws really make me MAD!! red

  • Paul Westmoreland

    I go to a court ordered drug rehab. When I pointed out that new research shows that marijuana actually repairs brain cells, she scoffed at the idea like why should she believe this “new” research. I pointed out to her that people that support marijuana legalization are not the people that have a long history of lying to the people, but instead they are he group that always had to cite “new” research because last years “new” research had already been debunked. It is time for us to become honest about this issue and realize there is not very much if any harm with marijuana. Let’s end the madness.

  • potstirrer

    Besides showing compassion GA should review what CO is doing and learn from them.
    Med maj tonday for GA!

  • Cornlikker

    PLEASE change these laws so I don’t go to PRISON for getting BUSTED for POT! I’m out on Bail and awaiting my sentence. I’m facing 10 YEARS of my LIFE behind bars. I’m 50 yrs old and will never be able to get a job. My life is ruined and I have no reason to live. They took everything from me and it’s very possible the warrant wasn’t even any good, but have no money left to fight it. They took all my money, even the 3 dollars in my glove box of my car. They didn’t have a warrant when they showed up at my door, I wouldn’t let them in without one, 5 minutes later, they hand one to me and walked right on in. (written down the street i’m sure) After they found some pot, then they got a real warrant. Spent 3 weeks in jail, and fiancée is facing Felony charges on conspiracy and tampering with evidence charges. She’s a nurse and had nothing to do with it.
    These laws need to change, this is bullsht. Prohibition didn’t work and neither is this.

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