In response to Ivan Moore’s poll showing that the ballot measure to legalize pot was up by an eye-popping 18 percentage points, Dittman Research, whose firm has historically been accurate in its polling, released its own poll that showed that the measure was losing by 10 percentage points, 43 percent to 53 percent. Moore’s question was paid for by the group that is working to legalize pot in Alaska. Dittman is working for the group fighting against legalization.
Dittman’s poll was conducted Sept. 30 through October 3. Six hundred likely registered voters were surveyed. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Dittman’s sample, as was Moore’s, was representative of the general election voter population in Alaska in age and party affiliation. Thirty one percent of Dittman’s sample were contacted via cell phones.
Moore’s poll was touted by the pro-legalization group as the only public poll released so far that reflects the language that is going to be on the ballot, and the only poll that had a true representative sample of “cell phones only” users, which Moore said is “highly significant.”
However, in his poll, Moore’s question includes the phrase “constitutional protections,” which isn’t in the ballot initiative language. (See the exact initiative text below.) Moore’s poll also asks if they “favor” or “oppose” the initiative, as opposed to whether or not they planned to vote “yes” or “no.”
Here’s the Dittman poll question, which is the third one asked in the poll. The first two ask general questions about how much the voter is aware of the measure. Here’s how the question was worded and the results:
And more specifically, Ballot Measure 2 is a bill that would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana in Alaska for people 21 years of age or older. The bill would allow a person to possess, use, show, buy, transport, or grow set amounts of marijuana. If the election were held today, would you vote for this initiative to become law – Yes or No?
Here’s the exact language as it will appear on the ballot:
This bill would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of
marijuana in Alaska.
The bill would make the use of marijuana legal for persons 21 years of age or older. The bill would allow a person to possess, use, show, buy, transport, or grow set amounts of marijuana, with the growing subject to certain restrictions. The bill would ban the public use of marijuana. The bill would prohibit a person under 21 years of age from using false identification to buy or try to buy marijuana or marijuana accessories.
The bill would allow validly registered marijuana-related entities and persons 21 years of age or older who own or are employed by these entities to make, possess, buy, distribute, sell, show, store, transport, deliver, transfer, receive, harvest, process, or package marijuana and marijuana products, subject to certain restrictions. Alaska Statute 17.30.020 (Controlled Substances) would not apply to these entities. The bill would require the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board to implement parts of the bill. But the bill would also let the legislature create a Marijuana Control Board to assume these duties. The bill would require the ABC Board to adopt regulations governing marijuana-related entities. The regulations would need to cover certain topics and be subject to certain restrictions. The bill would also create procedures for registering a marijuana-related entity. The procedures would be managed by the ABC Board and local governments.
The bill would allow a local government to prohibit the operation of marijuana-related entities. A local government could do that by enacting an ordinance or through voter initiative. The ordinances could cover the time, place, manner, and registration of a marijuana entity’s operations.
The bill would allow a person 21 years of age or older to possess, use, show, buy, or transport marijuana accessories. Marijuana accessories are products individuals use to grow or consume marijuana. The bill would also allow persons 21 years of age or older to make marijuana accessories and to distribute or sell them to persons who are 21 years of age or older.
The bill states that it is not intended to require an employer to allow marijuana use, transportation, possession, sale, growth, or transfer or prevent an employer from prohibiting these activities. The bill does not intend to supersede laws prohibiting driving under the influence of marijuana. The bill does not intend to prohibit schools, correction facilities, hospitals, or private persons or entities from restricting marijuana on their property. The bill does not intend to limit the state’s existing medical marijuana laws.
The bill would impose a $50 per ounce (or proportionate) excise tax on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a cultivation facility to a retail store or marijuana product manufacturing facility. The marijuana cultivation facility would pay the tax and send monthly tax statements to the Department of Revenue. The department of Revenue could exempt certain parts of the marijuana plant from the tax. It could also establish a lower tax rate for certain parts of the plant.
The bill defines numerous terms. The bill contains a statement of purpose and findings. The bill would impose civil fines and penalties for violations.
Should this initative (sic) become law?
Contact Amanda Coyne at email@example.com