A new Field Poll shows that 55 percent of Californians support some form of recreational marijuana legalization. 47 percent supported a controlled system similar to Washington’s, with age regulations and state monitoring, while an additional 8 percent simply supported allowing anyone to purchase marijuana.
This marks the first time a Field Poll has seen a clear majority of support for marijuana legalization in California. A 2010 Field Poll showed a combined 50 percent of voters supported some sort of marijuana legalization, but California’s legalization ballot initiative was defeated that year.
California, often considered a pioneer in the marijuana community, has come a long way in gaining public support for the cause. In 1969, only 13 percent of those polled favored some form of marijuana legalization. In 1980, the support percentage grew to 30.
“It just seems like an inevitable trend towards the liberalization of the laws,” said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, comparing the changes to the type of generational shift that drove a swift turnaround on same-sex marriage. He suggested that people see a distinction between cannabis and more dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin.