Wow! The latest poll out for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), now officially Proposition 64, is rather astonishing. We are used to seeing support for cannabis law reform increase rather rapidly, but legalization topping 70% is amazing, as such support is usually relegated for medical measures, not for full legalization of adult use. Before cannabis legalization supports start rejoicing prematurely, Kim Nalder, the political director for the CALSPEAKS Opinion Research Center at Sacramento State (who conducted the poll), opines that support for Prop 64 is likely to go down when voters actually start casting their ballots.
From Capital Public Radio:
“It is probably the case that people who are less likely to vote are more in favor of it,” Nalder says. “So we see, for example amongst younger people, they’re more likely to favor it, at 84 percent ‘yes’ in our survey. Those are some of the sorts of people that might get selected out.”
Support for marijuana legalization could also decrease somewhat as initiative campaigns begin in earnest. Nalder says a majority of Californians initially supported legalization in 2010, but voters turned against details in Proposition 19.
“People thought it wasn’t prudent in a lot of ways. And so even though there were a number of voters who were generically in favor of legalizing marijuana, they voted against it,” says Nalder. “I suspect [this year] most voters haven’t gotten out their ballot guide yet and done their homework, and so it could change if they don’t like some of the details in this one.”
Capital Public Radio noted that this CALSPEAKS poll differs from the usual election surveys, as it doesn’t focus on voters, instead seeking to capture the sentiments of Californians more broadly. While this poll doesn’t mean that legalization is in the bag in California, it is a very good sign of widespread support. Proposition 64 supporters shouldn’t get complacent by this poll, but the poll does seem to demonstrate that a good turnout this November will give the measure a great chance of success. Whether you support AUMA or not, it seems clear that victory for legalization in California will add rocket fuel to the burning momentum for legalization, not just in the United States, but around the globe.