New California Poll Says Most Voters Want Recreational Cannabis - But Just Barely

A new poll is fuelling uncertainty about how Californians will vote come November concerning Proposition 64.   

The poll, released by the Southern California News Group and KABC/Eyewitness News on Monday, found that voters are likely to approve the proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana – but only by 52 percent. Forty per cent of those polled stated that they would vote No on Proposition 64, while eight percent stated that they were undecided. Zero per cent stated that they would not be voting at all.

Past polls on the question of Proposition 64 have come up with mixed results.

One poll released in March of this year by Probolsky Research of Newport Beach asked 1,000 likely voters if they would approve “an initiative that would legalize marijuana for recreational use,” about 60 per cent declaring that they would. However, those responses were broken up to reveal that while 42.7 per cent said they would definitely vote yes, 15.1 percent say they would probably vote yes, and 2.1 percent said they leaned yes.

Previous polls showed mixed views on legalization

Another poll released in May by the Public Policy Institute of California stated that 60 per cent of likely voters believed marijuana should be legalized. The results indicated that 69 percent of likely Democratic voters favoured legalization; 66 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 favoured legalization; and nearly eight of 10 people surveyed stated that they had tried cannabis. Support for legalization was strongest in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area, the poll found.

But a third poll released in August, which was conducted by SmithJohnson Research and, it should be noted, hired by opponents of legalization, found that only 36 percent of likely voters would definitely vote yes on Proposition 64. After likely voters were told the opposition’s argument that “marijuana smoking ads could be allowed on all broadcast primetime shows”, 52 percent said they’d definitely or likely vote no.

As it stands, medical marijuana is legal in California, but recreational marijuana is not. Proposition 64 would legalize and tax the recreational use of marijuana by adults ages 21 and older. California is one of five states voting on recreational marijuana this November. 

h/t LA Weekly, The Orange County Register.


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