Poll Gives California Pot Legalization Initiative 10-Point Lead


Graphic: Yes On Prop 19

‚ÄčSupport for Proposition 19, California’s Tax and Regulate Cannabis marijuana legalization initiative, is at 50 percent in the latest Survey USA poll, which was released Thursday. The figure is unchanged from last month’s Survey USA poll.

About 40 percent of respondents oppose Prop 19, which would allow Californians 21 or over to carry up to an ounce of pot and grow a 5×5 marijuana garden. The initiative would also give counties and cities the local option of permitting, taxing, and regulating marijuana sales and cultivation, reports Phillip Smith at StoptheDrugWar.org.
Other recent polls show similar levels of support for Prop 19. A Sacramento Bee/Field poll released last weekend showed support for a general marijuana legalization question at 51 percent.
Interestingly, ike other recent telephone polls, Thursday’s Survey USA poll shows higher levels of support for legalization than the face-to-face polls. Voters could be reluctant to say they support a controversial idea like cannabis legalization in a face-to-face encounter, but may do so in much greater numbers in the privacy of the voting booth, Smith points out.

Men, at 55 percent, show greater support for Prop 19 than do women (45 percent). People under 50 (55 percent) support it more than people over 55 (45 percent), and Democrats (60 percent) support legalization more than independents (53 percent) and much more than Republicans (at only 36 percent).
Prop 19 gets majority support from blacks (54 percent) and whites (51 percent), but not Hispanics (45 percent) or Asians (44 percent).
There is a strong correlation between support for marijuana legalization and support for liberal positions on other social issues. More than three of every four (76 percent) of people who called themselves liberals supported Prop 19, while only 27 percent of conservatives did.
Nearly two-thirds of people who oppose the Tea Party (64 percent) and support abortion rights (65 percent) said they would vote for Prop 19. But the measure also won support from both gun owners (54 percent) and non-gun-owners (51 percent).
The Greater Los Angeles area shows the strongest support in the state (56 percent) for Prop 19; the San Francisco Bay area is second, at 53 percent.
Support dropped below 50 percent in the Central Valley (45 percent) and in Inland Southern California (38 percent).