Rock the Vote for Marijuana: California Gears Up for 2016

By on October 22, 2013

by Shannon Jones

Is support of legalizing marijuana on the rise? According to two recent polls, the answer is yes!

The Tulchin Research Company, based out of San Francisco, collected information from those who will be voting in the 2016 election. According to the data, 65 percent of Californians support the legalizing, regulating, and taxing of marijuana for recreational use in the state. This is up from 2010, when 53 percent of the state’s voters chose to reject a ballot proposal to legalize it.

Because of the rise in public support to legalize marijuana, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D) will be working with members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a two-year effort to research proposals for the best way to safely regulate use of the plant within the state. Members of the panel will include Newsom, and professionals in the medical, academic, and public policy fields.

In a statement released to the Huffington Post, Newsom remarked that, “Communities are devastated because of this abject thing called the drug war. Forget the politics. This is the right thing to do.” He continued by adding, “But we need to answer the tough questions before we put it on the ballot. I want the research in order to be more convincing to others.”

Some advocacy groups would like to see marijuana proposals on the ballot by 2014; others maintain the 2016 date, which will mean that it will give them more time to prepare and gain supporters.

Mason Tvert, director of the Marijuana Policy Project, stated in regards to the elections that, “Voter turnout tends to be much higher in presidential election years. We believe a 2016 initiative will best demonstrate just how much support there is for ending marijuana prohibition in California.”

Medical use of marijuana was legalized in 1996 and has raised more than $100 million a year in tax revenue for the state.

If the vote passes, California will be third in the list of states who have chosen to permit recreational marijuana. Washington and Colorado are only states that have done so already. In August, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will allow both states to regulate and establish its own rules.

As of April, a nationwide Pew poll found that 52 percent of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized. This is the first time that those who want it legalized have been in the majority since the question started being asked in the late 1960’s.

About Admin

One Comment

  1. Brian

    October 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    The reason Prop 19 failed wasn’t because of lack of want or support for the legalization and taxation of cannabis like alcohol… It’s because Prop 19 was a horrible proposition giving the entire industry to just a handful of people. It was primarily going to benefit the people who wrote it and that’s about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *