| Posted on Mon, September, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
With two months left to sway Alaska voters, the dueling groups in support and opposition of a ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Alaska are ramping up their campaigns, and Friday they offered glimpses of what’s to come in the weeks leading to the general election.
The group backing the initiative -- the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska -- gave insight into an upcoming advertising campaign and a new website to be unveiled in early September.
Meanwhile, opposition group “Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2” said new constituency groups were in the formation stages, and touted recent endorsements by businesses and organizations.
The campaigns are setting their sights on Nov. 4, the day Alaskans will cast their votes on Ballot Measure 2. The initiative would legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and older and levy a tax of $50 per ounce of pot. Should it pass, the eight-page initiative would leave much of the regulation-making process in the hands of the state. The state would have nine months to craft these regulations, including labeling and health and safety guidelines and security requirements for marijuana businesses.
Summer polling shows Alaskans split on whether to legalize. Public Policy Polling data released in early August showed that of 673 voters polled, 44 percent were in favor of the initiative, 49 percent opposed and 8 percent unsure.
Those numbers show a slight decrease in support since May, when PPP showed 48 percent in favor, 45 percent opposed, and 7 percent unsure.
Deborah Williams, deputy treasurer of Vote No on 2, said the August poll was evidence that public support for the initiative is wavering.
Campaign to Regulate spokesperson Taylor Bickford disagreed. “We aren’t concerned at all. Our internal polling tells a different story,” he said.
Bickford said Friday, with the primary election in the books, the Campaign to Regulate is now looking to mobilize the volunteer base it has assembled during the summer -- “hundreds, if not thousands,” of Alaskans, he said.
A new campaign, “Talk it up Alaska,” will encourage supporters to do exactly that -- talk to their friends and family about why they support regulating marijuana.
“It’s often hard for people to talk about this issue,” Bickford said.
A major component of the new campaign is a new website, TalkItUpAlaska.org. That website will provide supporters with a comprehensive resource database. It’s set to go live in early September, he said.