A majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis — and with a ballot initiative in the November election proposing to do just that, a big majority of California voters say they’re on board with recreational marijuana in the country’s most populous state. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a recent University of California, Berkeley poll said they support the legalization of marijuana with regulation by government agencies, the university announced on Wednesday.
UC’s Institute of Governmental Studies polled 3,020 voters in June and July and asked them their feelings about the big issues — including gun control as well as cannabis legalization — on the upcoming November ballot. Specifically, pollsters asked them if marijuana should be legal for adults to purchase and use recreationally, with regulation similar to that of alcohol. And 63.8 percent of all voters said that it should, with even higher numbers of support among Democrats and young people. Of those polled, 73.8 percent of voters who identified as Democrat said they supported legalizing and regulating cannabis, and among voters under 30, support ranged from 71.3 percent to nearly 75 percent.
Only voters who identified as Republican showed majority opposition to having California join Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Alaska in allowing adults to use cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation. If passed, Proposition 64 — also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — would allow adults 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to grow up to six plants in their homes.
Medical cannabis laws would remain intact, and medical marijuana would still be available to people ages 18 to 20 and to sick children in certain circumstances. Prop. 64 would add a 15 percent excise tax on all marijuana, plus additional taxes passed by cities and counties.
Five states — Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, as well as California — have legalization measures on the fall ballot.
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