After a recent poll concluded that the majority of Californians favor the legalization of marijuana, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the state may soon make that a reality.
A brand new survey from The Field Poll, released on Tuesday, found that of the 55 percent of people polled were in favor of marijuana legalization. Of that 55 percent, 47 percent believe it should come with regulations such as age restrictions while eight percent believe that anyone should be able to buy it freely.
“I don’t think it’s any worse than alcohol,” said 62-year-old poll respondent Janice Holland. “So I think at a certain point people have the ability — and the brain growth, when you’re adults — to make decisions about whether or not you want to get high.”
The Field Poll began surveying people in California regarding marijuana legalization in 1969, and back then, a similar survey found that 75 percent were against the legalization of the drug while only 13 percent were for it. The difference in results between then and now is a clear sign of the overall change in attitude towards the controversial drug.
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In addition to seeking opinions regarding the legalization of marijuana, the survey found that the majority of people in California would be in favor of a new initiative that sets out to decriminalize hemp and cannabis usage.
The initiative, which is being set forth by the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014 advocacy group, is seeking to legalize the use of hemp and cannabis for all purposes and would set restrictions for marijuana usage, such as a 21-year-old age minimum for purchase and a standard level of intoxication, much like there is currently with alcohol. Of those surveyed, 56 percent said that they would vote yes for this initiative if it was on the ballot this coming November.
“It is more clear than ever that Californians are ready to try something new,” said Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They’re ready to control marijuana in a different way.”
Marijuana legalization could actually happen in California in 2014, experts say.