News / USA

Californians' Support for Legalized Recreational Pot Grows

FILE - A man holds a joint during a gathering of marijuana advocates at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.
FILE - A man holds a joint during a gathering of marijuana advocates at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.
Reuters
The number of California voters who would support a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana has tipped higher since Colorado and Washington State adopted such measures last year, a new poll shows.
 
About 55 percent of voters surveyed by the Field Research Corp. said they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults, and about the same percentage said they would vote for a proposed ballot initiative that aims to do that.
 
That number was up slightly from results of a Field poll in February that showed support by 54 percent support of the California electorate, the first time a clear majority of expressed approval for legalized recreational pot.
 
A 2010 poll by San Francisco-based Field found 50 percent support, but a legalization measure on the California ballot in November of that year was defeated, with 53 percent voting “no.”
 
The federal government still classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic. But in a major policy shift in August, the U.S. Justice Department said it would give states wide leeway to experiment with pot legalization, and started by letting Colorado and Washington carry out their new laws permitting recreational use.
 
The administration's previous stance strongly opposing the 2010 California ballot measure, Proposition 19, was cited by some as a likely contributing factor to its defeat.
 
The latest findings mirror Gallup poll results released earlier this fall showing nationwide support for pot legalization among 58 percent of voters.
 
The trend in favor of legalization reflects a dramatic shift in public opinion since pollsters first started asking voters about the issue in 1969. At that time, just 13 percent of California voters told the Field poll they supported pot legalization, and 12 percent nationally told Gallup pollsters that they backed it.
 
If a legalization initiative qualifies for next November's ballot and is passed, California would become the third state to allow the personal possession and use of marijuana for other than medical purposes.
 
Voters in Colorado and Washington State approved such measures in November 2012 and are now struggling to develop a regulatory framework for the sale of recreational marijuana.
 
California in 1996 became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, and 19 other states, including Washington and Colorado, have since followed suit, along with the District of Columbia.
 
In the latest Field poll, support for legalizing pot was highest among those registered as Democrats, at 65 percent, followed by political independents, at 62 percent. Republicans polled favored legalization by 39 percent, compared with 58 percent who were opposed. The remainder were undecided.
 
Supporters of a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana for consumers over the age of 21 have until February to gather the more than 500,000 petition signatures needed to place the measure on a statewide ballot next fall.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid