BEND, OR -- A new poll of Deschutes County voters shows a majority favor allowing marijuana growers in unincorporated areas. The phone poll was conducted by California-Based research firm FM3. According to Amy Margolis, with Oregon Cannabis Association, 400 people participated in the survey, last week. "We hired a professional polling company to go out and do this kind of outreach because we wanted to let the Commissioners know what was happening and how the voters feel about this issue," Margolis tells KBND News. "And so, even though we paid for it, this was not something that we did on our own. We hired a sophisticated company who does these, who's nonpartisan; and the results reflect that."
She says they asked two questions. The first: "As you may know, in 2014 Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for adults to use in Oregon. Do you approve or disapprove of this law?" Margolis says, "When Ballot Measure 91 passed, it passed by 51.8%. Now, you can see that the total number who approve has actually jumped up almost two points to 53%."
According to the results, 32% "strongly approve," the other 21% "somewhat approve." Of those who oppose it, 11% "somewhat disapprove" and 31% "strongly disapprove" of M91. Five-percent responded they didn't know.
Deschutes County Commissioners temporarily opted out of allowing grow operations in unincorporated areas, in December. They're expected to decide next week whether to lift the ban and impose regulations or continue to opt out and send the issue to voters in November. Margolis says, "When you look at the second question, people feel very strongly that they want to see the Board of Commissioners implement rules."
In that second question (pictured above), respondents were asked to choose which of two statements come closest to their opinion. Of the 400 polled, 61% said they agree with: "Some people say that the voting public in Deschutes County approved Measure 91 legalizing marijuana, and now it is the responsibility of the County Commissioners to establish reasonable regulations for marijuana businesses to operate." Another 28% agreed with: "Other people say even though legal marijuana is the law in Oregon, voters did not understand what they were voting for and the County Commissioners should refer a measure to Deschutes County so people can vote on it again." The final nine-percent did not know which to choose.
County Commissioners are expected to announce their decision on the issue May fourth.