Poll Shows Marijuana Legalization Trailing in Alaska
There is some bad news for the marijuana reform efforts in Alaska. According to a new PPP poll, if the election were held today Measure 2, the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, would lose in a vote of 44 percent yes to 49 percent no.
The is a drop of several points since May when PPP last polled the state on marijuana legalization. At that time it found the measure winning 48 percent yes to 45 percent no.
Two things to bear in mind when looking at these results. The first is that Alaska is a relatively tough place to poll accurately because it is a geographically large and economically diverse state with a relatively small population.
The second is that this new PPP poll found support for legalization among young voters in Alaska to be surprisingly low. It found only 48 percent of voters 18-29 planned to support the initiative at this time. By comparison Gallup found nationally 67 percent of young people think marijuana should be legal and Pew Research polling put support among this age group at 70 percent. It is possible young people in Alaska are dramatically more conservative the young people as a whole on this issue, or maybe the difficulty polling this group in Alaska is skewing the results there somewhat.
Either way it looks like the contest in Alaska is going to be very close and likely will come down to who actually turns out this November.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy