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New Poll: 56% of California Voters Want to Legalize Marijuana

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This November, Californians will be the first in the nation to vote on a statewide initiative to legalize marijuana for all adults over 21. Tonight, the first poll conducted since the initiative, known as Tax & Regulate Cannabis 2010, officially qualified for the ballot on March 24 was released.

The third-party, independent poll conducted for California media outlets shows that 56 percent of Californian voters believe marijuana should be legalized in the state; 42 percent opposed that statement.

Recent polls have shown that a steady number of people here in California think legalization is the right solution to this particular segment of the drug war. A poll in April showed 56 percent support for legalization. And Tax Cannabis’ internal polling in March found 44 percent support among likely California voters in non-presidential elections. This was followed by an August internal poll that found 52 percent support by likely November 2010 voters.

This newest poll broke down support by various important demographic groups. Unsurprisingly, those aged 18 to 34 support legalization at 74 percent, compared to 45 percent among those 50 and over. Men are for it at 65 percent, compared to 46 percent of women.

Blacks support legalization most, at 67 percent; Hispanics support it least at 45 percent. Geographically speaking, my own Bay Area supports it most at 65 percent, though the other three geographic areas represented in the poll all supported it at 52 percent or higher.

For more on Tax Cannabis, please make sure to read my extensive analysis of the campaign, its goals, and the outlook as it works its way to the November midterm elections.