A new poll conducted by USC Dornsife and Los Angeles Times found that 50% of California residents disapprove of legalizing the “general or recreational use” of marijuana by adults. 46% of those polled approved of legalizing marijuana for the same purpose.
A poll of 1,000 voters was conducted statewide from May 17th to May 21st.
The poll also showed that more of those against marijuana legalization felt strongly about their position than those who were in support marijuana legalization.
The majority of individuals living in the Bay Area approved of legalizing marijuana, but that was the only area of the state in which a pro-legalization majority was reached. 55% of those in the Bay Area supported legalization, while 49% of voters in Los Angleles County and 41% of voters in Southern California approved of it.
Younger voters were more likely to be in favor of marijuana, with 58% of those in their late teens and 20s saying that they would support marijuana legalization. Only 51% of those between the ages of 54 and 60 were in support of it, and only 28% of respondents age 64 and over were in support of it.
When broken down into party affiliations, 60% of independents favored marijuana legalization, followed by 50% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans.
A former legalization initiative, Proposition 19, which failed in 2010, showed similar results to those found in the poll, leading researchers to believe that public opinion has not greatly changed on the subject over the course of the past two years.
Despite the split numbers for outright legalization, 80% of respondents approved of doctor-recommended medical marijuana for severe illnesses.