Surge Voters, A Good Court Decision, and Barney Frank’s 5-Year Forecast

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–August 2, 2010.  Exciting developments in the movement to end marijuana prohibition keep flooding my inbox. Here’s just a sampling from over the weekend:

Citing a new survey, Ryan Grim gives more credence to the idea that marijuana ballot initiatives could help Democrats drive “surge voters” to the polls in 2012. (Something I’ve written about a time or two.)

A survey making the rounds among strategists, which has yet to be made public, indicates that pot could be just the enticement many of these voters need: Surge voters, single women under 40 and Hispanics all told America Votes pollsters that if a legalization measure were on the Colorado ballot, they’d be more likely to come out to vote. Forty-five percent of surge voters and 47 percent of single women said they’d be more interested in voting if the question was on the ballot. Most of these were energetic, with 36 and 30 percent, respectively, saying they’d be “much more interested” in coming out to vote. Roughly half said it would make no difference. For Latinos, 32 percent said they’d be “much more interested” in voting and another 12 percent said they’d be somewhat more attracted to the idea of trudging to the polls.

Surge voters said they would support the measure by a margin of 63-35. Young single women would back it 68-31.

In Oregon, the Court of Appeals has ruled that a parent who tests positive for marijuana cannot lose custody of their children without evidence that his or her marijuana use resulted in child endangerment.

The state had argued that the mother’s marijuana use “presented a reasonable likelihood of harm to her two children.”

But the appeals court agreed with the mother’s argument that the state failed to provide any evidence connecting her behavior with risk to the children. […]

[Department of Human Services] workers found that the home was clean, the children had appropriate food to eat and they appeared “happy and healthy,” the appeals court wrote in its decision. A DHS worker also had testified that the mother “appears to have appropriate parenting skills.”

[…] The mother admitted using the drug at a party a week or two earlier but said she did not use it frequently and never used it around the children. A test taken a few weeks later came back negative for marijuana and other drugs.

And in an interview with The New York Times, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) predicts that a bill he has sponsored to remove federal penalties for the personal use of marijuana could pass within five years.

For all your love of financial regulation, you’ve joined with the libertarian Republican Ron Paul to write bills that would shrink government. Do you think your bill to legalize marijuana will ever pass? Yes, in the next five years.

Will that expand the tax base? As a nation, do you think we could smoke our way to solvency? I want to be clear; that’s not my major motivation. My major motivation is personal freedom. When we outlaw marijuana or online gambling, all you do is create more criminals and deprive us of revenue.