Blacks Oppose Legalizing Pot? Maybe Not

Polls show new variation on Bradley effect
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 11:15 AM CDT
Blacks Oppose Legalizing Pot? Maybe Not
This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows marijuana plants in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(Newser) – If you look at the six available polls on the prospects for California's Proposition 19, which would legalize and tax pot, a funny thing emerges. Funny to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, anyway. The three automated polls show legalization passing by double-digit margins, and the three that used human operators show it trailing. Why? Silver posits an update to the Bradley effect: Voters—especially African Americans and Hispanics—are reluctant to tell real people they support legalization, but they don't mind admitting it to a robocaller.

Black and Hispanic voters supported legalization in robopolling and opposed it in human polls. The differences between human and automated results were greater for those groups than for others, and Silver theorizes it's because smoking pot is "almost certainly more stigmatized when associated with minorities, and drug possession arrests occur much more frequently in minority communities." He dubs it the "Broadus Effect," after cannibis enthusiast Snoop Dogg. Click here to see why Snoop and other stoners should care about black voters' opinions on the issue.

(Read more California stories.)

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