The L.A. Times reported today that its own Pot Poll showed 37% of Californians had tried pot, and 11% had smoked pot in the last year. No surprise, 82% of those who had tried marijuana in the past year support the November ballot initiative to legalize pot. Another non-surprise, support for legalization changes sharply by age, with support highest among young voters. Voters 65 and older oppose legalization (52%). But pot wins among all other voters. Voters between 45 and 64 support it (49%), those 30 to 44 are at 53% in favor, and those 18 to 29 are 61% in favor. Overall,the voters polled support legalization 49% to 41%, with 10% uncertain about it. One surprise: 7% of Republicans smoked weed during the past year.
The bad news (for supporters) below the fold.
One-third of legalization supporters favor it only "somewhat," and a majority of the 53% polled who had never tried pot oppose its legalization (the Times article doesn't give the percentage of those opposed from this group, beyond saying a majority of this group opposes legalization).
An interesting sociological result of the poll is that the heavy use of marijuana seems to have skipped a generation. According to the L.A. Times:
The youngest voters, between 18 and 29, reported the highest percentage of marijuana use in the past year, followed by voters between 45 and 64, who could be their parents or even grandparents. Most of those voters came of age in the marijuana-hazed Vietnam War era.
The poll shows the demographic group that will likely play the key role in the legalization vote are women, particularly those who are married. Men favor legalization, but women are split. Married women reject legalization 49% to 40%.
Though both Jerry Brown and his likely opponent for CA governor, Meg Whitman, oppose legalization, voters who have tried marijuana make up 45% of Brown's supporters, but amazingly also 37% of Whitman's. So both candidates will likely continue to officially oppose legalization, but avoid saying much about the initiative.
Hopefully, the campaign to legalize will not put on TV ads featuring snippets from Cheech and Chong movies (though I'd expect the opponents might), but WILL use some of pot-inspired creativity to make pot appear warm and cuddly to all the moms who are worried about "sending the wrong message" to their kids.