PPP Buries the Young Marijuana Voters Lede

Oct 26, 2010

Over the past month or so, there has been a mini-boomlet in coverage about the potential impact of marijuana initiatives on young voter turnout. Most notably, an article in the Wall Street Journal appeared earlier this month with the headline, “Democrats Look to Cultivate Pot Vote in 2012.”

With this as background, it was interesting to see this blog post by the polling firm PPP yesterday prior to today’s release of a survey on Proposition 19 in California, the initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in the state:

One of the big questions in California this year has been how big of an impact Proposition 19, the ballot proposal to legalize marijuana, will have on turnout in the state. In an effort to figure that out we asked respondents on our new survey there what on the ballot they were most excited about voting for: 39% said the Governor’s race, 26% the Senate race, 10% Prop 19, 4% one of the other props, 2% a local race, 1% their US House race, and 18% said they weren’t sure.

But this 10 percent figure did not appropriately convey the true impact of the initiative on voter turnout. If you examine the crosstabs provided by PPP today along with the full results of the survey (click on “here” at the end of the hyperlinked blog post), you will see that young voters – who are less likely to vote in a mid-term election – expressed much greater enthusiasm about Prop. 19. When voters 18-29 were asked which race they were most excited about a full 29 percent said Prop. 19!

Marijuana-related initiatives do inspire young voter turnout. The only question is whether progressives, who will generally benefit from this increased turnout, will take advantage of it politically.

9 responses to “PPP Buries the Young Marijuana Voters Lede”

  1. Perhaps on a statewide initiative, but what does talking about hemp and cannabis with truth, honesty and compassion; under comprehensive marijuana legislation for Industrial Hemp, Medical Marijuana and Recreational Cannabis achieve at the state assembly level in Wisconsin?

    We feel both sides of the isle and the demographics of 30 year old plus on the highest support, with only roughly 6-10% of the voter population in the district being 18-29 years old, the young vote will not do it alone.

  2. I’m not sure that I’m getting this right, but I do know that the struggling unemployed middle class (the people who are loosing their homes and family and are highly in credit card debt), the majority, are the ones who carefully study who are the best choices to vote. That is when the dreaded trade-offs comes to play. Marijuana policy is the best social litmus test, but the desperate unemployed provider are the ones who are willing to sell their souls to the cold-blooded corporations that are trying to compete with the lost jobs that was sent to China.

    The best political candidates are the ones that were eliminated in the primaries.

    Jobs and the economy are important, but I like to smoke a joint to stay happy and strong.

    Please Vote YES on Proposition 19

  3. Pot is the best self-reflecting tool on this planet.
    You can laugh, admit to your mistakes, and to improve all by yourself.

    Vote YES to Proposition 19.

  4. A friend and i were talking yesterday about what the results will be if prop 19 passes. We determined that some one will eventually be fired from work for testing positive on a drug test even though they may have used a month ago. Then prop 19 will be put to the test through the court system. Will be interesting.

  5. Go Cali, Go!!! I want to vote for something meaningful, instead i get a ballot full of christian conservatives who are more interested in my sex life, than their own.

  6. Paul, isnt it also true that it’s a part of the proposition that faces the most criticism. It seems that a lot of employers feel that it would leave them defenseless against marijuana use in a workplace. What happens to all the so called functioning addicts like myself who tokes then works?
    It seems that part of the prop 19 will definitely end up being tested in court at some point.

  7. Wish everyone in all states had the opprotunity to reform marijuana laws! If you can vote on prop 19 get your ass out there and make it happen!!!

  8. On Monday, the NY Times article, “Drug Testing Poses Quandary for Employers” addresses this issue mentioned above. Also, on the same day, Time Magazine online tackled the same issue in, “Fired for Taking Legal Drugs? Why Drug Tests Don’t Always Work”

    As Paul A indicated, what employers really need to be looking for is impairment. And this issue is not just about marijuana. It includes, marijuana, drugs, and alcohol. Further, users of medical marijuana are already in the workforce.

    Preventatively, employees working in jobs where there is a concern because of any substance use may be asked to do performance testing — “like the balance tests used by police to check for drunk driving, or the video game–based tests that measure reaction time — can test an employee’s performance on required skills and immediately determine whether that person is capable of doing the job… performance testing singles out only those who are not capable of functioning as they are required.”

    Time’s conclusion and I agree, “if a person is having a regular problem with job performance — regardless of the cause — that is the issue businesses should address.”

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