Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

May 19, 2010
Poll: Likely voters sharply split over November pot measure

California voters who are likely to go the polls in November are decidedly divided on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, according to a new poll.

The survey by the Public Policy Institute of California says 49 percent of likely voters favored the November initiative to legalize marijuana for adults over 21 and allow it to be regulated and taxed. Forty-eight percent of voters opposed the measure with three percent undecided.

Among all adults polled, 48 percent favored legalization and 49 percent were opposed.

The poll revealed major differences among different generations and political and ethnic groups on the legal pot issue.

For example, 62 percent of likely Latino voters opposed legalization while 56 percent of whites were in favor.

While 56 percent of adults 18 to 34 favored the initiative, it was supported by only 42 percent of those age 55 or older.

Sixty-two percent of Republicans opposed the initiative. But 56 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independent voters favored legalization.

But on the question of currently legal medical marijuana use, voters are much more united.

Some 76 percent of poll respondents said they favored legal pot use for medicinal purposes. Twenty-two percent said marijuana should be illegal in all circumstances.

Medical use was supported by 82 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 68 percent of Republicans.

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