California: 60 Percent of Likely Voters Back Legalization

Six out of ten likely California voters support making cannabis legal, according to survey data released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California. Sixty-eight percent of likely voters also believe that the US government should not enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have approved the plant’s use. The percentages are the highest ever reported by the polling firm in favor of allowing adults to possess and consume cannabis socially.

Support for marijuana law reform fell slightly among all adults. Among all Californians, not just likely voters, 52 percent responded that “marijuana should be made legal,” and 61 percent believed that the federal government should not interfere with statewide marijuana laws.

Men (57 percent), Democrats (64 percent), and Independents (60 percent) were more likely to express support for legalizing marijuana than were women (47 percent) or Republicans (45 percent). Caucasians (63 percent) and African Americans (61 percent) also expressed far greater support for legalization than did Asians (48 percent) or Latinos (36 percent).

Pollsters surveyed 1,703 Californians, including 1,429 registered voters. The PPIC poll possesses a margin of error of between 3.7 percent.

In recent months, polls in several other states — including Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma — have shown majority support for marijuana law reform, as have national polls.

48 thoughts

  1. I had a feeling that Californians would recognize the mistake they made two years ago,and support legislation more eagerly this next time around. Having a legal state (Wash)nearby probably doesn’t hurt.

    Of course, two years ago the support for legalization in CA faded as the vote got nearer, thanks to the propaganda of the prohibitionists, the black-marketeers and other such ilk; however, somehow I don’t think that’ll happen this time around.

    In any case, once CA goes legal, with its huge economy, a major jolt of energy will have been injected into the cause.

  2. So over and over again we see that the majority is in favor of legalization. Why then is this ridiculous government allowed to put people in jail for having something they want. I am getting tired of hearing about legalization with no change happening….or I guess I just am not got at patience. but really…enough already.

  3. All Florida residents I need your help.
    Please go to and sign the petition to allow me and others like me with degenerative brain disorders to have legal access to the cure we need.
    Thank you, in advance, for your compassion.

  4. With the kind of ever-increasing majority support we have for legalizing marijuana (and, of course, correlating lack-of-support for the failed Drug War), if we can’t get this legalized within the next five to ten years across the board, it will be the surest indication that our country is for sure a bought-and-paid for commodity of the super-wealthy interests (most of which have profits tied into the Drug War and Prohibition II, either directly or indirectly through taxpayer-subsidized kickbacks and tax breaks for implementing suspicionless drug testing programs). If we cannot legalize, and soon, with these kinds of numbers and this kind of trend of increasing public support, it will be time to fight what has become a tyranny, because at that point it’s not even about marijuana anymore–it’s about our country having been irrevocably stolen from us by a minority of moneyed interests.

  5. I think californians feel they have missed out by not being the first State to legalise non-medical use of cannabis (after being the first to allow medical use). They are probably looking enviously at Washington and Colorado and thinking they should have had the prestige, media attention and (of course) the money. The same is true for Canada (BC especially), The Netherlands, Mexico and other places. The doubts Californians had when given the chance to be the first to legalise probably now seem quite silly and just serve to make them look a bit cowardly and backward thinking. NOT what you expect from California and not how they would like the world to see them.

  6. Considering that most Californian’s believe that marijuana should be legal, I think it is time to replace the small-minded prohibitionist Melinda Haag as the DA! It is shameful how she has decided to bed down with the devil (the DEA) on this matter!

    Hasn’t she done enough harm during her tenure? I say her butt should be thrown to the sidewalk!

  7. Sorry to be the skunk at the garden party, but this survey is not encouraging. According to the article, those supporting adult use legalization in California has dropped to 52%. This is in a state that supposedly has the best weed and in a supposedly progressive environment. In ruby red regressive ultraconservative Louisiana, 53% respondents of a recent survey support adult use legalization. I believe too many Californians have allowed themselves to be seduced by the black/grey market “all use is medical regime”. I often read opinions from Californians who just want to keep the status quo. With that kind of complacent thinking, it’s no wonder California is slipping behind. I’m not knocking California, I’m just saying that California should be much better and bigger than that. California is really missing out on many wonderful opportunities that adult use legalization has to offer, namely true cannabis freedom.

  8. I find the Latino numbers to be a bit odd. Being as the approval/disapproval rates are almost exact opposite numbers than to blacks and whites. It seemed more likely that there is some number transposition.

    In any case poll results like this are quite impressive. Getting more than 50% of any voter community to agree on something is stunning. Getting 45% of republicans to agree with 64% of democrats is a miracle. Clearly not a bipartisan issue.

  9. @Evening Bud: I agree, that is not likely to happen this time. I recall at the time that it was said the margin was narrowing and the vote to legalize had never failed by such a narrow margin before, and it was likely to succeed next time around–given the trend.

    It’s true that CA should probably be ashamed to not be the first, but one good thing about them not being first is that it can’t be shrugged off by prohibitionists. How many times would I hear “sure CA has legal MMJ, but that’s the land of the fruits and the home of the nuts, not like all the rest of the country with the upstanding decent ‘Merican folk who will never ever legalize marijuana in any way”. The fact that two states legalized that were not CA might have been for the best, since they don’t have the reputation that CA has that would enable people to not take it seriously.

    California is going to have a huge impact at this point when it legalizes, possibly a greater impact than it would have if it had been first.

  10. “Republicans (45 percent)”– remember that Big 2WackGo gives almost twice as much money to Rep candidates as to Dems. Tell you something?

    @Demonhype says fight– if so, single out the #1 enemy, not Hearst and Rockefeller past history but the $igarette companies of today which still exercise the biggest and deadliest “tyranny” in human history, over 1 BILLION addicts and 6 million DEATHS a year.

    And now for my sermon– “Forgive—>Convert—>Redeploy. There are talented workers and executives working for tobacco companies– pressure the govt. to give them retraining. Let tobacco farmers in BC and KY lead in restoring 100-foot hardwood forest where the tobacco croplands used to be.

  11. This is a good professional commercial but we mist not forget this is a super bowl ad. People chose when they look away. This does not grab full attention. In my opinion you should definitely compare cannabis to alcohol due to the high amount of alcohol being consumed and advertised. This will get people to rethink at that very moment. A bog attention grabber is visual death rates.

  12. I always thought California would be the first state to legalize. I was there in the mid seventies. We passed joints around in the bar as we listened to locals jam.

    In 10 years only a few counties in the most conservative states will prohibit it. Possibly not even these, because the problems with violence and behavior that necessitate calls to police simply aren’t there with marijuana the way they are with alcohol.

  13. Well, as I saw posted on Cannabis Culture, does this mean that the Californnia state legislature will vote to legalize it, or are they too beholden to the federal prohibitionists in D.C. and the big corporations who profit off of keeping cannabis illegal? So the thinking goes, if the legislature does it, California won’t have to jump through all the ballot initiative hoops, and cannabis will be legal all the sooner.

    I don’t know what it is with Cannabis Culture becaue all too frequently when I visit their site Symantec gives me this warning that their site has been compromised by this or that, and lately it’s a malicious Java/jar application). I like the spread of their reporting, international is scope. I’m glad Normal’s site isn’t compromised. I know the prohibitionists would like to do whatever they can to sabotage things.

    Did the DOJ making refiling of existing cases make Haag have to refile the charges against Harborside? I really want the feds to leave Harborside and everybody in California alone. Although I’m stuck here in shitty old Pennsylvania, where if we had the ballot initiative we could have legal cannabis at least for MMJ according to the polls, I see no need for other victims of cancer such as myself and other qualifying illnesses have to suffer unnecessarily just because Haag and other federal prosecutors simply refuse to give up their witch hunt. Steve, if I could get a job in California, I’d be there at your side, protesting for cannabis, advocating for cannabis, and I’d be a member. A very big thank you to Norml, Mpp, Dpa, Steve and all the other folks, philanthropists like Mr. Soros and Mr. Lewis and everyone else helping to make society fairer and freer!

  14. Keep killing cops, civilians, military, Mr. Obama…what finances terrorists? Your blood, ink, and cronyism!

  15. @Miles – Oh Poor Melinda Haag… What is she going to do when she doesn’t have marijuana users to beat down? Maybe she can move somewhere else, like Iran, where the people are more like her.

  16. I currently live in California. And there is an insentive called the California cannabis hemp and health insentive for 2014. It’s got clearance for circulation. We begin collecting signatures on October 1st. And i am a for sure believer in California showing this whole country the front door to being a more free and debt free USA. I’ve asked norml to help california legalize cannabis before. And I thank Allen and the rest of norml for keeping up on that. But there is more needed.

  17. In 2011, the PPIC poll found 46% support. In 2012, 45% support. Now that it’s 52%, among all adults, for there to be a 7% spike in one year is stunning! Since nothing special happened in California, I think this is testament to the power of the national conversation which legalization in Colorado and Washington has sparked. When the next Gallup poll comes out, I’m optimistic that we may see a similar spike nationwide.

  18. I too don’t understand why Melinda Haag is doing what she is doing… Doesn’t she have to report to the same people everyone else does?

    Or is this again, well marijuana is “so dangerous” we have to continue ignoring our consitution and breaking the laws of the land just to get “this stuff off the streets”? Why don’t these jackoffs go off the Doctors writing scripts and Pharmacists that supply death that then kill people??? Too fucking stupid to do your jobs???

  19. It’s been a long time coming! A majority of Californians finally understand that we, as adults, have enough sense to know that legalizing Cannabis will minimize the harm and lifelong destruction caused by letting industries that make money off of controlling and punishing us for using Cannabis, either as a medicine or for leisure. Enough of punishment, incarceration, treatment programs, denied employment, breakup of families, seizure of personal effects that we worked so hard to obtain, denied participation in government assisted programs, and so much more. Just because one chooses to consume Cannabis, instead of ‘legal’ drugs? We see it on the news, hear about it every day, where a law-abiding citizen is stomped on and their live and the lives of their love ones will never be the same. Time to stop treating Americans, or at least many of them, as criminals and sources of income. Let’s get it done in 2016!

  20. Latinos are the least likely to support marijuana law reform. How shortsighted for the conservatives to vilify these people to the point of insulting them and potentially alienating an entire generation of voters.

    It’s lucky for NORML fans who want reform, but not good for the country in the long run.

  21. I didn’t understand this sentence: “A slim majority of adults (52%) say marijuana use should be legalized—a record high and the first time support has been above 50 percent A larger majority of likely voters (60%) favor legalization.”

  22. Todd, they mean the difference between people who are registered to vote, but do not show up vs. people who actually do vote. The people who are more likely to vote, are also in favor of legal buds. See, they understand things generally better than the average person that doesn’t even bother voting. And folks that don’t vote are kind of dumb, after all you pay taxes all year long, and voting is your one chance to have a legal say in how the country runs, but then you don’t vote.

    So many believe the scam of third party votes are wasted, but our system doesn’t work like that. Why do we see people saying this in the media everytime there is an election??? It is brainwashing to keep our votes and their power between the dem and rebubs! Every vote counts people!!! Not just those votes for dems and bubs. Third party votes get much needs public monies to their campaigns, they need our votes. The people getting 95-99 percent of our vote certainly do not deserve all public/tax payer funded voting money going to them, because these is the opposite of how a democracy works. The laws are fine, but they rigged the system by dividing all the votes between the two parties. “Us vs. them” politics have put this country on the wrong path too many times.

  23. Todd,

    Most polling organizations apply a “likely voter” screen, based on things such as past voting history, whether a person said they plan to vote in the next election, etc., in order to determine the opinions of those who are the most likely to vote. The 60% in favor is the number for likely voters, while the 52% in favor is the number for all adults. Hope this helps.

  24. @Dave has a good point about the wrongful unfair $$/Rep/Dem Duopoly but meanwhile (a) Republicans represent a voter constituency that is 20 %-points more anti-cannabis-legalization that Dems, and (b) Reps get almost twice as much Big 2WackGo campaign money as Dems (to protect $igarette companies against legal cannabis), so here’s a strategy:

    throughout the campaign season, $upport and advocate an independent/3rd-party candidate, help him/her get heard, included in debates etc., then unless there’s a very special cannabis-understanding Rep candidate, vote for the Dem candidate.

  25. I sent this brief email to Jerry Brown:
    Governor Jerry Brown,
    Polls show a majority of Californians favor marijuana legalization. California used to be a leader in the advocacy of personal liberties, now we sit on the sidelines. This is taxation without representation.

  26. Yes Mexweed, then they can running their campaigns while using our money and all the while stabbing us in the back for their “better donors”. All I see rebublicans do is waste public money buying votes and then once in office, using their authority to work against the common good.

    To wit:
    Crazy people still having unfetterred access to firearms is nothing the people of the US find remotely acceptable. But the crazies in our congress don’t see a problem with children being shot because gangster A had a issue with gangster B, but both gangsters are just pussies that shoot into crowds of people. Why do the scums in our congress find this acceptable?

    The retarted war on drugs, never designed to work, just corroding our respect for the police and society in general. It is the work of a think tank who’s job is figuring out how to set US back a generation or three.

  27. During the prop 19 initiative of 2010,people where mislead to believe that medical grower’s could lose their ability, under the new prop 19 guidelines of 6 plants(for recreational purposes)that would somehow supersede the limit of 99 plants in certain counties under the original 215 guidelines of 1996, for (medical purposes)

    The irony is,that after prop 19 lost by a small percentage,California dispensaries and medical growers where targeted harder than ever before.

    Interestingly enough,Steve Cooley who was running for California Attorney General”,lost by a thin margin to Kamala Harris.Perhaps, because Steve was threatening to shut down medical dispensaries in the La district?

    Not a good move for a politician these days!

  28. @mexweed: That is true. Also, the alcohol companies. From what I understand, many if not all of the lies put out there to misinform the citizens of California and get them to vote against Prop 19 (which Fed-Up above summarizes quite nicely) were funded and promoted by the alcohol industry.

    I’m hoping people are more inclined to find out the truth this time, instead of knee-jerk reacting to lies from tobacco and alcohol special interests.

  29. @Demon, I have been convinced we can win by promoting the Moderation Utensil– handmade long-stemmed one-hitter or vaporizers etc.– to replace H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide joints.

    Once enough tobacco (700-mg-per-lightup $igarette) users and alcohol (hurriedly gulp down large quantities) users learn to imitate wise cannabis user strategy (which among us has the dimension of saving a tone of money– 40 single (25-mg) tokes per gram), the tobacco and alcohol marketing industries won’t make enough MONkEY to bribe politicians or indoctrinate the voting public with their anti-cannabis hatefearteasing.

  30. Dave Evans.

    All I see Democrats do is waste public money buying votes and then once in office, using their authority to work against the common good.

    See what I did?

    This isn’t a R vs D thing as much as you would like it to be. If so this would be like ObamaCare, where all of one party is for it and the other against it.

    Many red states are trying to adopt medical marijuana laws, they aren’t doing it as quickly as dark blue states, but the tidies turning…don’t be ignorant and push them away cuz I know MANY who vote R, who toke daily

    and MEXWEED

    your rants against tobacco has you hypocrisy showing, you rail against smoking cigs but not against smoking marijuana?

    BOTH are CIVIL LIBERTY ISSUES…you also leave out Alcohol Lobbies which are just as afraid of legal cannabis then are cig companies, if not more so…

  31. @mexweed: YES! The most fascinating thing about marijuana is that it doesn’t even have to be smoked! I mentioned to someone that if it were legal I might try it–as even my mother told me that I’m so high-strung that it would do me good–and this person reminded me that I’m not so good with smoke. All I had to say is “ever hear of pot brownies?” LOL That makes MJ even healthier and even less dangerous than the poisons that are, for some reason, more legal.

    What surprised me is that I’m not a user and I know this, while this person has admitted to using MJ in their lives! You don’t need to use to know these things–just open your freaking ears!

    I simply cannot wait for those crooks involved in the Drug War, both those waging it and those profiting off of it, are out on the street. I would love it if everyone who ever worked in a Drug War industry was unable to find work ever again and became entirely unemployable–just as they did to honest MJ users for decades. Justice! (Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

  32. @dezznutz, oh yes, I do rail against smoking cannabis, because vaping is better– and you CAN vape with a long-stemmed one-hitter. (Just attach a flexible drawtube to the “butt” end of the “bat” or one-hitter; hold the flame an inch or more below the opening and suck steadily so that air entering on the herb is about 385F.)

    I’m not against tobacco per se (in moderation) but against the $igarette format (700-mg-per-lightup), a drug cocktail of monoxide, heat shock and 4221 combustion toxins. A 500-mg giant joint is just as bad, providing dopy symptoms blamed on the cannabis by ignorant prohibitionists.

    Sorry @Demonhype that you have stayed total non-user, one 25-mg toke (now and then, or every other day) is not going to wrench your life off its rails like a H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide joint might. If worried about finding work, try the self-employed, entrepreneur approach– customers buying a hand-made wooden toy for infant and toddler, or set of sanded blocks, aren’t going to drug-test the seller.

  33. dezznutz1001, nice name. I see what you did, but that doesn’t make it true. I seriously wonder if a lot of republicans aren’t dyslexic… They say, we want to save money, but they invented the War on Marijuana, not the Wars on Drugs which both parties founded. It is Rebublicans who keep writing new laws making prohibition worse and who a fighting to keep illegal guns on our streets.

    Obama Care should be called Romney Care–And it was written mostly by real conservatives, not these wack job tea baggers that just represent the Cock Brothers. The reason Christian are opposing Obama Care in massive numbers is because they are dyslexic, there really isn’t a better reason for supporting laws that undermine Christian Values???

    Jesus said, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. if your job is helping people with their health, then you do your job when someone need your help. On the other hand, we have to drug warriors who would rather lock you up, even it is already proven to be an effective treatment. The correct choice should be simple to make (help sick people get their medicine) and the police unions should be there to protect officers when they do make the correct choice, not bribing our elected officials to continue this Drug War for their profit.

    Right now, police unions and some corporations are the largest sources of corruption in this country. Guess which party almost always has their back?

  34. @Dezznutz, I wanted to add that although alcohol companies are just as scared of cannabis and should be, tobacco (i.e. smoking cigs) is a bigger issue with 6,000,000 deaths per year compared to 2,500,000 for alcohol.

    As for traffic accident deaths– often “a $igarette or two” made the difference whether a drunk was emboldened to try to drive the car home; as for homicides, often “a $igarette or two” helped an angry drunk remember to take the gun along.

    @Dave has it right about Republicans; I think $igarette smoking (totally irrational ecocidal habit) and $igarette corporations are the largest sources of corruption on planet– but Cannabis to the Rescue, among other things teaching millions of users to reject H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide roll-up papers in favor of the 25-mg-per-serving One-Hitter format.

  35. @ Demon,

    I’ve been reading various articles on the net about several states moving in the direction legalization for recreation, including a few in New England and even Alaska. And I’m stoked about that. Still, if/when CA goes legal, it will be a back-breaker, IMO, to the prohibitionists, especially when the tax money starts pouring into that state’s coffers.

  36. Whoopty doo here we go again! The government is never going to do anything about Marijuana!
    We are all wasting our time; The Supreme court won’t even listen to us! They “DON’T CARE”!

  37. @ Kevin,

    Try not to be so despondent brother. In case you hadn’t heard, Colo and Wash legalized it. I’m already planning a trip to Colo next spring. Spring time in the Rockies, hell yeah!

  38. I am way behind the curve on this-but just wanted to voice my opinion. I hope for the day that it becomes legal to smoke and grow- A little concerned if it becomes a legalized and taxable commodity though, it would be much like tobbacco- all the small businesses would disapear and phillip morris would take over the industry. It would be Highly taxed- And regulated, the quality would either be diminished, polluted, or both. There would be strict restrictions on who can buy and where. It aint gonna be like coffe or tea! I say if you can grow it you can smoke it (anybody can, it’s a weed)I know this is unrealistic because there is too much money involved, and I would rather see it taxed and sold by corrupt industries than see the useless drug wars and incarcerations continue, but it is just a lesser of two evils. Goodbye Humbolt county- Hello big fields somewhere that only migrant workers will be hired at for less than fair wages…It is the opposite of prohibition I am thinking- they went from taxed to illegal-instant mob scene; had they just said hey! if you can brew it you can drink it! then Capone would not be doing time for tax evasion!
    Anyways- I am going outside now to pull some non-profit weeds

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