Thursday, March 23, 2006

Poll: Alaskans Oppose Marijuana Re-Criminalization 56%-43%

Marijuana Policy Project

Juneau, Alaska - A new poll of Alaska voters reveals strong opposition to Gov. Frank Murkowski's bill to re-criminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the home. In the survey, conducted March 6-11 by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, only 43 percent supported the measure, which the Senate recently tacked onto an anti-methamphetamine bill now being considered by a Senate-House conference committee. 56 percent opposed the bill, with just one percent undecided.

Fifty percent of voters said they supported the Alaska Supreme Court ruling that the privacy provision of the state constitution allows adults to possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use in their homes, with 47 percent opposed. When those opposed were asked how they would feel if possession of a smaller amount of marijuana were permitted, support for the decision rose to 56 percent.

"Alaskans strongly disapprove of the governor's marijuana legislation, and don't want our legislators rushing ahead with this cobbled-together, poorly thought-out bill," said Bill Parker, former Alaska state legislator and retired deputy commissioner of corrections. "The conference committee now has one more reason to put the brakes on this ill-conceived idea."

"Alaskans value the right of privacy in our own homes as guaranteed in our constitution," said Michael McLeod-Ball of the ACLU of Alaska. "Alaskans think it's wrong for the governor and legislature to do an end-run around our constitutional privacy protections. The mainstream believes there's a middle ground that the politicians are ignoring in the name of partisan politics."

Goodwin-Simon surveyed 500 voters in a scientific, randomly- selected sample by telephone March 6-11, 2006. The poll, which was commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%.

With 20,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.


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