California Voters Want Marijuana Legalization

When it comes to marijuana, there is no doubt: California voters are behind it. smokingbeauty1.jpg

Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers understand that a recent California Field Poll found that voters overwhelmingly support the existence of dispensaries, they want the federal government to butt out of the state’s business and they favor legalization of the drug for recreational use.

When it came to proposals to regulate the drug the way we do alcohol, voters said by a margin of 54 to 43 – they want that.

As the first state to legalize medical marijuana and the state with the largest medical marijuana industry, nearly 70 percent of Californian voters say they want the ongoing federal crackdown, spearheaded by the four U.S. prosecutors in the state, to cease.

The poll was conducted just three months after voters in Colorado and Washington both passed laws legalization marijuana for recreational purposes, revealing that California could very well be next on this issue by the time the next statewide election rolls around. However, the question of how the federal government intends to respond to those other two states still looms large.

In fact voters on both side of the aisle have a problem with the numerous raids that have been carried out on legal marijuana dispensaries, the stiff criminal penalties lobbed against owner/operators and the civil forfeiture actions lobbed against landlords.

Despite the federal government’s assertion that the marijuana industry in California has been “hijacked” by those trying to make money off of it, the poll revealed that 55 percent of Republicans, nearly 70 percent of Democrats and nearly 80 percent of independents oppose the raids.

As the director of the polling company noted, such action is in no way helping to gain support for the federal government’s action. If anything, it appears to be having the opposite effect.

And meanwhile, the state Supreme Court is still mulling whether California counties and cities actually have the right to ban dispensaries altogether. This while medicinal marijuana remains amply supported by voters in the state.

The poll found that nearly 70 percent of those who responded favored allowing at least some medical marijuana dispensaries in each town. The support was strongly supported in Los Angeles County, as well as in Northern California, particularly the San Francisco Bay area.

Many respondents had a difficult time reconciling the government’s big brother approach as to the destruction of neighborhoods from marijuana when, No. 1, that wasn’t actually supported by the data, and No. 2, alcohol, deemed far more destructive, is available on every corner.

Several medical marijuana dispensary owners responded to the poll saying that it encourages them and helps them to feel validated as they continue to fight back against all these outside forces. It also suggests that come election time, California politicians who are against marijuana for any purpose may see some major consequences come election time.

When 2016 rolls around, it may be more than just the politicians seeing the impact.

Those who drafted the failed Proposition 19 legalization measure in 2010 say that in three years, it will come down to writing the best law that they can.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
Marijuana Legalization Poll: California Voters Overwhelmingly Support Pot Reform, Feb. 27, 2013, By Peter Hect, The Sacramento Bee
More Blog Entries:
Third Los Angeles Marijuana Ordinance Approved for May Ballot, Feb. 27, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog