Public Opinion: California Support for Pot Legalization At 56% in New Poll

A SurveyUSA poll conducted this week for a consortium of California television stations showed majority support for marijuana legalization. An initiative that would do just that, the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, will be on the ballot in November.

The poll found that 56% of those surveyed responded affirmatively to the question, "Should the state of California legalize marijuana?" That's the same number as supported legalization in a Field poll a year ago this month. In this week's poll, only 42% answered negatively, with 3% undecided.

People under 35 supported legalization by a margin of three-to-one (74%-25%), with support declining to 46% among the 35-to-49 age group, rising to 49% among the 50-64 group, then declining again to 39% among those 65 and older. Among all voters under age 50, support was at 61%, while among those over 50, it dropped to 46%

The poll revealed a significant gender gap, with 65% of men supporting legalization, while a dramatically lower 46% of women supported it. That means legalization supporters will have to work to win over a key demographic.

There was majority support for legalization among all ethnic groups except Hispanics, of whom only 45% wanted to free the weed. Support was highest among blacks (67%), followed by whites (59%), and Asians (58%).

Somewhat surprisingly, there was majority support for legalization in all regions of the state, although only barely, except for the San Francisco Bay area, where support was at 65%. In Central California and the Inland Empire, support was at 54%, and in the Greater Los Angeles area, support was at 52%.

The poll was conducted Tuesday and involved interviews with 500 adults across the state. It has a margin of sampling error of plus/minus 4.4%.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Support the California Ballot Initiative

Support California's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. Visit http://taxcannabis2010.org

Hispanics Against Legalization

It may be that the low Hispanic demographic is due to Roman Catholic influence in that community. If the priest says "no" to cannabis, it's likely the flock will follow.

It's that plus a language barrier

I agree. (i'm hispanic, btw). I think it's partly that, but it's also partly that there is a language barrier. The legalization debate in the english speaking world is much further along than in the spanish speaking world. Even with former latin american presidents being for it, and with decrim or partial decrim in several latin american countries, it just seems like it's taking much longer to sink in in latin america that legal drugs is a real, legitimate idea to consider. I imagine a lot of latinos in california might speak enough english to get by, but they are probably less aware of the issues being discussed around them. I've debated in forums in spanish about legalization (of which there are a lot less than in english), and you wouldn't believe how frustrating it is. People ridicule the idea and say you're crazy because you're addicted to drugs and things like that. And like you said, there's plenty of references to the church. Hopefully california legalizes, though, and after that, people will be more aware that legalization is real and that it's a good idea.

MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGALIZED

There are certain hard scientific facts that would support the Legalization, but the "orthodox" addiction medicine establishment, being anything but independent from tight DEA control, is not nearly as forthcoming with this information as it should be for scientific integrity. As opposed to alcohol and most controlled prescription drugs, marijuana use has not been associated with one single case of fatal overdose, marijuana does not have a documented physical withdrawal, and its addiction liability is only 3% compared with 10% for alcohol and around 20% for opiates, both legal (morphine) and illegal (heroin). Cannabis use has been shown to reduce the violent crime (Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition, page 267). After working for years with seriously drug-addicted patients in Philadelphia, PA, I understand the scientific fallacy of classifying cannabis in the same group with heroin and cocaine. The so-called "gateway drug" theory is by now completely discredited, but this scientific fact is not widely advertised or known. At the same time, the medicinal properties of marijuana plant are by now so clearly beyond dispute, that even the "opponents" are no longer fully comfortable in repeating the old nonsense that the plant has "no medical benefits". Between 74 and 81% of Americans support legalization of marijuana for at least medical use. I know that whatever decision people make in the end (and I hope it will be to legalize this natural medicinal plant), they should make it with all the facts at their disposal.
Perhaps the whole situation regarding the legalization of marijuana can be summarized by quoting a true expert whose dedication to scientific truth is stronger than any disinformation the "opponents" can possibly offer:

"Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s. Like penicillin, herbal marijuana is remarkably nontoxic, has a wide range of therapeutic applications and would be quite inexpensive if it were legal". Dr. Lester Grinspoon, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2006

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School