UP IN SMOKE: Pro-Legalization Leading In Cali Polls


ALTERNET: A few short months ago, California’s Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, seemed likely to fade away in a puff of smoke. After more than three decades on the front lines of the disastrous “war on drugs,” I feared this best-hope-to-date chapter in the battle for sane drug laws was a lost cause. But something has changed in the public’s consciousness, and in its resolve. On September 30 the Public Policy Institute of California published the results of its new poll. It shows Proposition 19 winning, by a resounding 52-41 margin. Other polls are similarly encouraging. What, apart from a smart, well-run campaign, explains this big swing in momentum? MORE

FIREDOGLAKE: The latest SurveyUSA poll of likely voters now has Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana in California, leading with 48 percent certain to vote yes and 41 percent certain to vote no. This is a slight improvement from a SuveryUSA poll two weeks ago, which had its winning margin at only 47 percent to 42 percent. However, the change is within the margin of error, and the lead is still slightly below the SurveyUSA high for Prop 19 of 50 percent to 40 percent set back in July. An important point is that early voting officially began Monday in California. For Prop 19 to be holding steady or slightly improving as the first votes are being cast is good news. All polling of Prop 19 has a remarkably high level of consistency. All pollsters have found the yes vote leading the no vote by a margin of 7 to 11 percentage points and have found the percentage of people committed to vote yes to be right around 50. This is critical because with the high level of media attention about Prop 19, the assumption is that most people who are still undecided about it right before they vote will tend break towards no. MORE

THE ATLANTIC: It’s no secret that weed is a big agricultural business, so it’s only natural that it’s made it to the next stop on its way to a full capitalist makeover: mass production. The video below is an exclusive look at what could be the country’s first official cannabis factory, a 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Oakland that would house 30,000 plants and could produce $50 million of cannabis per year. Part of a proposal by Gropech, a non-profit that promises to create hundreds of union jobs and reinvest profits in the Bay Area if given a permit by the Oakland City Council, the facility would supply medical dispensaries across the state in an attempt to bring transparency to the growing process. “The laws in California were sort of backward because they addressed retail sales before wholesale production,” said Derek Peterson, co-founder of Gropech. “It would be like if you built a bunch of liquor stores, and only afterward built distilleries.” MORE

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