Record-High 64% of Californians Support Legal Cannabis

Linda Barrett
Written by Linda Barrett

According to a new Public Policy Institute of California survey, a record-high 64% of Californians said that the use of marijuana should be legal. In September 2010 Californians were split (47% legal, 49% not legal). Since then, the share supporting legalization has risen by double digits across most regions and demographic groups.

While half or more across regional and demographic groups think the use of marijuana should be legal, there is still a considerable partisan divide: three in four Democrats and independents say marijuana use should be legal, compared to four in ten Republicans. Support for legalization increases with educational attainment (51% high school only, 67% some college, 74% college graduates) and is higher among those 18 to 34 (72%) than among those 35 and older (61%).

Although marijuana is legal in California, retail marijuana businesses are banned in 61% of cities and counties across the state. Just over half of Californians say retail sales of recreational marijuana should be allowed in their city or community.

According to the survey most Californians (61%) think that Proposition 64 has turned out to be mostly a good thing. This includes majorities across regions and nearly all demographic groups. Overwhelming shares of Democrats and independents are in favor, compared to about one in three Republicans. Latinos are the least likely racial/ethnic group—and African Americans the most likely—to say this has been a good thing. Younger Californians (69% 18 to 34) are more likely than older Californians (58% 35 and older) to take a positive view of Proposition 64, and the share saying that it is a good thing increases with educational attainment (49% high school only, 65% some college, 69% college graduate).

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About the author

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Native San Diegan who's been smoking weed longer than YEW!