(CNS) – California may be the cradle of the movement to decriminalize marijuana, but most voters do not want to see it legalized for recreational use in the Golden State, according to a new poll.
Eighty percent of voters support doctor-recommended pot use for patients with severe illness, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found. But only 46 percent of respondents said they support legalization for “general or recreational use by adults,” while 50 percent oppose it, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The survey found opinions have not measurably changed since voters defeated the legalization initiative Prop. 19 in 2010 by similar margins. And oddly, given the state’s role as the leader of marijuana decriminalization and cultivation, support for sanctioning its general use here appears to lag behind the rest of the country, according to The Times.
A Gallup poll in October showed support nationwide for legalizing pot at 50 percent for the first time since the pollster began asking the question in 1969, when only 1 percent of Americans supported it. A Rasmussen Reports survey this month found 56 percent of voters favored authorizing and regulating cannabis sales like alcohol and tobacco sales.
Amid the uptick in its popularity, marijuana advocates succeeded in getting initiatives qualified for the November ballot in Colorado and Washington, while they failed in California.
Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, told The Times that California voters appear concerned about the way the Compassionate Use Act, passed in 1996 to permit medical marijuana, has been carried out.
“They like the idea of providing marijuana for medical use, but they’re worried that the law is being abused,” he said.