Drug Law

Poll - LA Voters Oppose Plan to Close Med. Marijuana Dispensaries

| by Marijuana Policy Project

LOS ANGELES — A new poll of Los Angeles County voters reports massive opposition to Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley’s announced plan for a wholesale shutdown of medical marijuana dispensaries, with only 14 percent backing Cooley’s effort. After Cooley made his statement, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich proposed an ordinance that would effectively shut down all dispensaries in the city.

The survey of 625 randomly chosen L.A. County voters was conducted Oct. 19 and 20 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Asked whether they support or oppose California’s medical marijuana law, including patients’ ability to buy their medical marijuana, 74 percent said they favor it, with 16 percent opposed and 10 percent undecided. Following that question, voters were asked about Cooley’s assertion that all medical marijuana dispensaries in the county are illegal and should be closed.

Asked, “Which of one these two alternatives come closest to your view: Prosecute or close all medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County, or create and enforce uniform licensing requirements and regulations for the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within Los Angeles County,” 77 percent supported regulation, with only 14 percent backing a large-scale shutdown.

Support for regulating the dispensaries crossed all demographic groups, including a 62 to 30 percent margin among Republicans.

In a third question, 54 percent of county voters supported “making marijuana legal for adults who are 21 or older, and regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol,” with 33 percent opposed. Full results of the poll are available at http://www.mpp.org/assets/pdfs/general/MPP-LA-County-10-09-Poll.pdf

“It’s clear that voters utterly reject calls for a wholesale shutdown of medical marijuana collectives and overwhelmingly support sensible regulation,” said Aaron Smith, California policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Angelenos support patients’ right to obtain medical marijuana, and want them to do it through safe, regulated businesses and not force them to turn to street dealers, as Cooley and Trutanich would do.”

With more than 29,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.