60 Percent of Californians Favor Full-on Pot Legalization

60 Percent of Californians Favor Full-on Pot Legalization
File photo by Enrique Manrique/L.A. Weekly

It's likely you'll get to vote on recreational pot legalization in November.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) has the backing of tech billionaire Sean Parker and of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Aiming to allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of weed without hassle, it has the best chance of making it to the ballot. 

A dozen or so other legalization initiatives were aiming for November, but their organizers simply don't have the millions of dollars in cash it takes to gather needed signatures and to campaign for their measures.

So if you do have one legalization choice on the California ballot, would you vote in favor?

You probably would, at least according to a new poll.

The folks at Probolsky Research of Newport Beach asked 1,000 likely voters statewide if they would approve "an initiative that would legalize marijuana for recreational use."

About 60 percent said they would.

However, the pollsters broke up the responses: 42.7 percent said they'd definitely vote yes, 15.1 percent said they'd probably vote yes, and 2.1 percent said they leaned yes.

And, let's keep in mind that this is a poll of likely voters. Polls of registered voters tend to be more accurate. However, the likely voters here are a pretty solid bunch. The group includes those who have voted or registered in recent elections.

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So is 60 percent (or rather 59.9 percent) approval for a possible pot initiative enough support to say it's in the bag?

Probably not.

In 2010 Californians had a shot at passing a recreational legalization measure, and it failed despite polls suggesting it would pass.

"It is very encouraging to see overall statewide support hit the 60 percent mark, but marijuana legalization is by no means inevitable," Armando Gudiño, California policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, wrote over the weekend. "There is much work to do to help law enforcement and youth advocates understand that AUMA will actually increase public safety and better protect young people from easily accessing cannabis."


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