A Sacramento Bee/Field Poll survey released over the weekend found support for legalizing marijuana in California at 51%. The poll was not measuring support for Proposition 19, the Tax and Regulate Cannabis marijuana legalization initiative, but instead asked respondents: "Which action best fits what you feel should be done about marijuana laws?"
Between those who want to legalize it and those who want to decriminalize it, the poll suggests nearly two-thirds of California voters favor relaxing the state's marijuana laws. Only about one-third support the status quo or hardening the state's approach to marijuana.
This Sacramento Bee/Field Poll is in line with recent robocall polls on Prop 19, which show the initiative at 50% in one poll, 52% in another. A Field Poll from early July had the initiative losing by a margin of 44%-48%. This is yet more evidence that the Prop 19 race will most likely be very tight indeed.
The poll also found that 47% of respondents had tried marijuana, but nearly half of those (23%) had not smoked in the last 15 years. Eight percent had toked up in the past year, with the San Francisco Bay area with the highest last year use rate (11.4%), followed by Los Angeles County (8.8%), Northern California (8.1%), interior Southern California (7.7%), the Central Valley (5.7%), and San Diego and Orange counties (4.8%).