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Majority Favor Marijuana Legalization In California, Poll Finds


California marijuana legalizationBy Phillip Smith

Support for marijuana legalization is above 50% among Californians, and even higher among likely voters, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll released Thursday. While other pollsters have reported majority support for legalization in the past, especially in the run-up to the failed 2010 Proposition 19 effort, Thursday’s poll marks the first time PPIC has recorded majority support for legalization.

PPIC polling in September 2011 had support for legalization at 46%, and that figure dropped to 45% in a March 2012 PPIC poll. Now, the numbers have flipped.

The poll found support for marijuana legalization at 52% among all respondents and 60% among likely voters. Conversely, 45% of all respondents and 38% of likely voters opposed legalization, with undecideds accounting for only 2% to 3% of respondents.

Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. About six in 10 whites (63%) and blacks (61%) are in favor, Asians are divided (48% legal, 45% not legal), and about six in 10 Latinos are opposed (62%). About half across age groups think marijuana use should be legal.

The question asked was “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”

The question was asked of 1,703 Californians, including 1,429 registered voters, between September 10 and 17. Among those likely voters responding, 46% were Democrats, 31% Republicans, and 17% independents. That generally follows current voter registration statistics. The racial makeup of likely voters was 61% white, 15% Latino, 12% Asian and 8% black. The poll has a margin of error of between 3.7% and 4.5% depending on the subgroup polled.

The poll results are likely to encourage efforts by California activists to get a legalization initiative on the 2014 ballot, even though many major drug reform players have cautioned that the state should wait for the higher voter turnout expected in the 2016 presidential election year. A divided activist community threw up several initiative proposals in 2012, but none of them managed to make the ballot.

One measure, the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014, has already been cleared for circulation this year, and at least one more is in the works. Organizers face a daunting task, however; they need to gather more than half a million registered voter signatures, a process that typically requires at least a million-dollar investment. Whether the big money can be convinced that 2014 is both doable and winnable remains to be seen.

The poll also found that more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it is legal.

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Johnny Green


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  2. I’m a firm believer that the worlds largest criminals are at the top of the food chain. Not the bottom as they would like you to believe. I dont need the government to help me decide what is “moral’. Or, to raise my children for me. I’m perfectly capable. Thank you. Our founding fathers would have grabbed their muskets and would have handled this issue by now. We could learn alot from history.If we dont… We’re certainly destined to repeat it. Viva la revolution!

  3. Its time to put aside our differences and organize. It can be done. 2 other states have done it. Thankfully I live in one. All the polls in the world dont matter if you dont vote.It does no good to have 100% approval if only 49% of you show up. Thats why the Fed has been winning this war for so long. No one has to remind the haters to vote. The D.E.A. is banking on the fact that younger user wont get off their butts and go down to the polls. Theyve built careers and raised families on your misery. Im not gloating.Thats the ONLY percentage that matters. bet your boots the people who sell weed “on the low” are going to vote against you. Yes… Your very own “hook up”. There are soo many other organizations voting against you. If you want change it is YOU and YOU alone that can bring it. Please, Vote!
    Thank you, Rick Steves for helping to raise awareness and steer us through those difficult times.! I’m nearly certain we couldnt have done it without you!
    Good luck, California. Were rooting for you! We also need your help on a national level. Its time to fight the bully in our own back yards. Yes…. Momma and the rest of the world is watching. Go, Seahawks!

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