Issue may make sooner than expected return to the ballot if numbers continue to improve
by Brian Leubitz
You don’t often get second chances in ballot measure politics. Sure, there are the social conservatives that keep putting anti-choice measures on the ballot, over and over again. But, really, they are the exception that proves the rule. Most measures that go down to defeat aren’t heard from for a few years. But, Field’s latest poll on marijuana legalization may mean that Prop 19 was only the beginning of that discussion:
By a five to four margin (54% to 43%), California voters support legalizing the sale of marijuana, with age and other controls like those applicable to alcohol. This is the highest level of support for marijuana legalization since The Field Poll began measuring California public opinion on this issue in 1969, when just 13% favored its legalization.
The poll finds greater than seven in ten voters (72%) backing the state’s existing medical marijuana law. Two in three (67%) oppose federal government efforts to crack down on businesses attempting to sell marijuana for medicinal purposes. A 58% majority of voters also say they would favor allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city or town where they live. (Field)
The victories in Washington and Colorado, and the relatively strong vote total for Prop 19 here, mean that this isn’t really a fringe issue anymore. There has been some rumors that the measure could be back on the ballot sooner rather than later, but 2016 seems more likely than 2014, if only for organizing purposes.