In a state that pioneered rethinking marijuana laws, a majority of voters have legalization in mind.
A new Field Poll tracks the increasingly green-friendly attitude of Californians, a decades-long trend that has seen Golden State residents swing from seeking tougher enforcement to favoring the end of pot prohibition. Eight percent of voters backed allowing anyone to purchase cannabis and 47 percent said it should be available with the types of controls, like age verification, that govern alcohol sales.
Those two groups combined account for 55 percent of voters surveyed, marking a breakthrough for marijuana advocates: It is the first time a Field Poll has discovered clear majority support for legalization. A combined 50 percent backed the notion in 2010, when a legalization ballot initiative went down to defeat.
In 1969, just 13 percent favored some form of legalization, vastly eclipsed by the 49 percent of voters who believed harsher penalties were the answer. In 1983, the pro-legalization crowd comprised 30 percent of poll respondents.