Cal NORML Poll Shows San Francisco Voters Do Not See Pot Clubs as Problem, Would Rather Legalize It

San Francisco, Sept. 14, 2005. A survey of likely voters in San Francisco conducted in August found that, despite a wave of negative publicity around medical marijuana dispensaries and busts by the DEA, a majority of San Francisco voters do not see the pot clubs as a problem. Instead, over 60% favor legalizing marijuana for general adult use like alcohol.

The poll, conducted in the first week of August by Evans-McDonough, was commissioned by California NORML.

The poll came on the heels of calls by some political leaders to drastically curtail the number of dispensaries serving patients in the City. The poll shows that voters oppose cutting back on the availability of medical marijuana, with fully 84% agreeing that the number of dispensaries should be determined by patient needs, not politicians.

The City's voters overwhelmingly favor medical marijuana, with 91% saying they support it for people whose doctor recommends it. Fully 75% believe patients should be able to smoke on-site at medical cannabis clubs. Also, 62% believe that clubs should be concentrated more in certain neighborhoods.

A large majority of voters support decriminalization or legalization of marijuana for adult use. Eighty percent disagree that people convicted of marijuana offenses should go to prison. Seventy percent agree that marijuana users should be treated the same as alcohol users. And 80% oppose the War on Drugs, with 75% saying the City should deal with its marijuana policies locally, not hand them over to the DEA.

"The overwhelming message of this poll is that, contrary to the hype, San Francisco voters would rather see legalization of marijuana than a crackdown," said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML.

The poll covered 400 likely voters and has a 4.9% margin of error.

Summary of poll results by Evan-McDonough

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