San Francisco, CA: A majority of west coast voters support regulating the sale of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, according to national poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International and commissioned by California NORML and Oaksterdam University.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents residing on the west coast agree that cannabis should be "taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes." Only thirty-six percent of west coast respondents oppose regulating the sale of marijuana for adults.
Nationally, support for taxing and regulating cannabis stands at 44 percent. Among likely voters on the east coast, 48 percent endorse legalizing marijuana. Respondents' support fell to approximately 37 percent in the southern and central regions of the United States.
In January, a national CBS/New York Times poll reported that 41 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana – up from just 27 percent in 1979.
Responding to the latest Zogby poll, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said, "Public support for replacing the illicit marijuana market with a legally regulated, controlled market similar to alcohol, complete with age restrictions and quality controls, continues to grow, and appears to have achieved majority support on the west coast – where many voters are already familiar with the state-licensed use and, in some cases, sale of medical cannabis."
He added, "As voters and legislators continue to look for alternative ways to raise tax revenue for public services and reduce law enforcement costs in this troubled economy, we expect the public's support for taxing and regulating cannabis to continue to grow -- not just on the west coast, but nationwide."
Nationally, younger voters age 18 to 29 are most likely (55 percent) to support regulating pot. Older voters age 50 to 64 are nearly evenly divided (48 percent) in their support for legalization.
The poll found that a majority of registered Democrat voters (53 percent) back taxing cannabis, versus only 32 percent of Republicans.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at (415) 563-5858.