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New California Poll 65% Favor Marijuana Legalization!
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Californians support legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the state, according to a brand new Tulchin Research poll.
The 65% in-favor figure, based on responses of 1,200 likely 2016 voters surveyed during the last two weeks, shows a “solid majority” back proposals to legalize adult recreational marijuana. The poll found 32 percent oppose legalization and 3 percent were undecided.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and American Civil Liberties Union released the poll results during a news conference yesterday, October 16. The launch of a two-year research effort focused on proposals to legalize recreational marijuana was also announced. Newsom will chair a panel of experts, including; professors, medical professionals and policy researchers. The panel will study legal and policy issues involved in adult recreational marijuana.
“This is about real people,” Newsom said. “Communities are devastated because of this abject thing called the war on drugs. Forget the politics. This is the right thing to do.”
“But we need to answer the tough questions before we put it on the ballot,” Newsom said. “We need more research in order to convince the remaining nay-Sayers.”
Not everyone is willing to wait until 2016. Two groups have filed proposals to put recreational pot initiatives on California’s 2014 ballot.
Both proposals — the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative and the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act — would regulate and tax marijuana similar to alcohol. 504,000 signatures in 150 days are needed to make them qualified to go onto the ballot.
The organizers behind California Cannabis Hemp Initiative are collecting signatures now, and backers of Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act are awaiting approval from the state to begin doing the same.
Other marijuana advocacy groups — including Newsom’s panel — are working toward a California voter initiative for 2016.
“The support for marijuana legalization in California is there,” “It just may not be there strongly enough or from the right populations to claim victory in 2014.” said Amanda Reiman, policy manager of Drug Policy Alliance.
California voters narrowly rejected marijuana legalization in 2010 with Proposition 19. About 53 percent of California voters voted no.
Drug Policy Alliance is co-hosting a symposium on legalization in California with the California Society of Addiction Medicine in Denver next week. This is part of an effort to win support from California’s medical community, which she said, is essential to persuade the public.
Drug Policy Alliance also is working with environmental and agriculture groups, because much of the marijuana cultivation is done outdoors in California, especially in the northern counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Ukiah.
California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana when voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996. Since then, the medical cannabis industry has flourished, generating upwards of $100 million in annual tax revenue.
“This is not a matter of 2014 or bust, or 2016 or bust,” “Legalization of marijuana in California is going to happen.” said Reiman.