The people of California are ready to legalize marijuana. Several polls now confirm that there has been a huge surge in support for legalization since Colorado and Washington states took the lead last year.
The latest Field Poll found 55 percent of California voters think marijuana should be legal and that 56 percent would vote for a proposed legalization initiative with age restrictions. This is a five point jump in support for the basic idea of legalizing marijuana since their 2010 poll.
Interestingly, this poll breaks down voters opinions regarding how supporters of reform want legal marijuana to be treated. The poll found that only 8 think marijuana should be legal for everyone to buy. On the other hand 47 percent think it should be legalized but with age and other controls, like the ones imposed on alcohol. Californians want marijuana legal but only if it is highly restricted.
This is the third major poll in the past four months to show majority support for legalization in California. The Public Policy Institute of California poll found 52 percent backed legalization while a Tulchin Research poll for the ACLU found 65 percent support for legalizing cannabis.
Given the polling I’m confident a well written initiative would win in California if it was placed on the ballot. That though is unlikely to happen until at least 2016. While several legalization initiatives have been filed for 2014 none yet have the well financed campaign needed to get enough signatures by the deadline.
I explore the future of marijuana policy after it is legalized in my upcoming book After Legalization: Understanding the Future of Marijuana Policy. You can support my book at Kickstarter and be one of the first to get a copy.