Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, voters now overwhelmingly support an initiative to legitimize the drug for recreational use, according to a poll released late Thursday.
Proposition 64, the well-funded initiative to allow those 21 and older to carry, use and share up to an ounce of marijuana, is backed by a 2-to-1 ratio of likely voters.
The Field Poll/Institute for Governmental Studies survey found that 60 percent intend to vote for pot legalization on the Nov. 8 ballot, the largest proportion to express their support since the poll began tracking views about marijuana laws nearly a half century ago. Just 31 percent are opposed and 9 percent are undecided.
“The broad-base nature of support for marijuana legalization is really the top finding here,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “And it does lead to the conclusion that this is likely to pass, especially compared to previous marijuana initiatives.”
The poll shows support for the initiative, which is being closely monitored because of the state’s size, influence and reputation as a leader on social issues, includes majorities across every age, region and ethnicity. Only Republicans, conservatives and those with high school degrees or lower registered less than majority support.