Poll: Californians Evenly Divided On Legalizing Marijuana

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Graphic: Earth First

This one’s going down to the wire. ‚ÄčCalifornia voters are evenly divided for and against legalizing marijuana, according to poll results released Wednesday. The survey shows 49 percent oppose legalization while 48 percent support it.

Politics, geography and demographics seem to predict which side of the cannabis divide people are on: 56 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents favor legalization while only 34 percent of Republicans support it, reports Josh Richman at The Oakland Tribune.

Men, at 54 percent, are more likely to be in favor of marijuana legalization. Less than half of women, at 42 percent, support legalization.
Only a small percentage of the electorate is still undecided about the controversial issue, reports John Hoeffel at The Los Angeles Times.
Marijuana is most strongly supported in the Bay Area, where 56 percent of residents hold a favorable view of legalization. A majority of whites — 56 percent — favor legalizing pot, while most Latinos — 62 percent — oppose it.
Support for legalization decreases with age: 56 percent of adults 18-34 are in favor, compared to only 42 percent aged 55 and older.
Tax Cannabis 2010 spokesman Dan Newman on Wednesday called the poll results “more evidence that voters remain eager to replace a failed policy with a more honest approach.”
“All the polls continue to show that voters remain interested in replacing a failed policy with a more honest, common sense solution,” Newman said.
According to Newman, the campaign’s own statewide survey of 800 voters conducted May 6-12 with a three-percent margin of error shows 51 percent support the measure upon hearing only the title, with 40 percent opposed.
The campaign’s poll also found that about three in four voters say California should control marijuana like alcohol or tobacco. High percentages of voters also agreed that the initiative would raise tax revenue and save the state enforcement money.
The initiative would allow cities and counties to tax marijuana sales.
About 94 percent of the $1.5 million raised for the measure so far has come from Oaksterdam University President Richard Lee’s businesses in Oakland.
Support for medical marijuana use, legalized 14 years ago in California under voter initiative Proposition 215, remains strong at 76 percent, according to the poll.
Even California Republicans, at 62 percent, favor medical pot. Eighty-two percent of California Democrats approve of medical marijuana.
The Public Policy Institute of California’s survey of 2,003 adults, conducted May 9-16 with a 2 percentage point margin of error, shows 49 percent oppose legalization while 48 percent support it; a subset of likely voters shows almost the same result.
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