Slightly more voters in California still oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use than support legalization, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. Overall support for marijuana legalization among California voters remains basically unchanged since 2010.

USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times (5/17-21)
Q.55 Do you think marijuana should be legalized for general or recreational use by adults?

46% – Total Yes
50 – Total No

33 – Yes, strongly
13 – Yes, not so strongly
8 – No, not so strongly
42 – No, strongly
4 – (Don’t know)
1 – (Refused)

In 2010 California voters rejected Proposition 19, a ballot measure which would have legalized marijuana, by a margin of 46.5 percent Yes to 53.5 percent No.  The percent support for the ballot measure is identical to the support for legalization in this new poll.

Overall, it is not surprising that less than 20 months after decide an issue at the ballot box voters opinions on that issue would have changed relatively little. Yet it is slightly disappointing given that nationally support for marijuana legalization has increased slightly since 2010, but apparently support hasn’t grown much in the state of California.

Over the long term, though, support should grow in California for legalization from the natural demographics change. There is a huge generational divide on the issue. A majority (53%) of all voters under the age of 50 support legalizing marijuana but that support is countered by strong opposition from voters over 50. Only 39 percent of voters over the age of 50 support legalization, while 56 percent oppose, and an overwhelming 66 percent of senior citizens think marijuana should remain illegal.

The poll also found that voters in the state continue to strongly support medical marijuana, which was first approved by voters back in 1996. An incredible 80 percent support allowing patients to consume marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, while just 17 percent of voters oppose.