The majority of California voters support the legalization of marijuana, according to a recent report. Earlier this week, the Public Policy Institute of California, which conducts one of the most respected public opinion polls of its kind, published the results of its latest survey, revealing a constituency ready to live in a state where cannabis is sold for recreational use.
According to the poll, 55 percent of voters across the state believe the time has come to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, while only 45 percent stand against the issue.
Although the numbers do not necessarily paint a portrait of the population rising up against the evils of prohibition, the latest figures are actually the highest they have been since the survey began examining the public policy preferences of Californians in 2010. Nevertheless, the results reveal the majority is most likely to cast a favorable vote in regards to legal weed if supporters can get the issue on the ballot in the next presidential election—a process that is currently underway.
The latest PPIC poll shows most Californians who have tried marijuana (74 percent) are in favor of legalization, while the 35 percent with no stoner experience remain an opposing force. Incidentally, the results find that the millennial generation will bring the issue of legalization to a turning point with 61 percent supporting full-blown pot reform, while only 47 percent of the older demographics feel the same.
Legalizing the leaf in California seems like a natural progression, especially considering the success of ballot initiatives last year in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia. In the days following the 2014 election, cannabis advocacy groups were already predicting the Golden State was next in line. After all, California was the first in the nation to legalize medical marijuana, and with several legislative efforts passed in recent years that have decriminalized drug possession across the board, the state appears more than ready to operate a cannabis industry.
Interestingly, if California does manage to legalize marijuana, 53 percent of the adult population says they will not be bothered by pot shops doing business in their neighborhood, while 44 percent claim this will be a problem. The negative opinions, however, are coming from voters with children. Fifty-four percent of California’s parental figures do not believe marijuana should be made legal.