This could finally be the year that voters in California decide to take the next big step by legalizing recreational cannabis use. California led the way in the United States with the first ever medical marijuana program way back in 1996, and now polls are indicating that it will likely be the 5th state to allow recreational weed. Over the years, there have been lots of failed attempts to legalize cannabis in California, but Proposition 64 seems to be the first potential legislation that a majority of Californians can agree on. Previous propositions were in large part shut down because medical marijuana users thought the additional restrictions were too drastic, and might be intentionally setting up a monopoly for a select few legal growers. Of course there are both people that hate weed and people that love it, who don’t like Proposition 64. It’s easy to see why medical marijuana growers wouldn’t want this to pass, because it could greatly cut into their business to have everyone and their mother be able to grow their own weed legally. Despite some protest, two recent polls that were just released indicate that voters will still be saying yes to legalizing.
One of the two polls was done by the USC Dornsife with the Los Angeles times. The first poll showed than an impressive 58 percent of the state’s voters want recreational cannabis to be legalized. This percentage remained pretty consistent no matter what demographics they split the participants into. Meanwhile, voters of California were also polled by Survey USA, which boasted a more humble, but still promising, 52 percent of those surveyed in full support of Proposition 64. It isn’t as if there were 48 percent of responders saying they will be voting no, because the undecided group made up 8 percent as well. The survey used ethical wording in their poll question, and included additional information regarding the age requirement and taxation details. The Los Angeles times poll actually only showed 34 percent, of the nearly 2,000 surveyed, that were unsupportive of Proposition 64. Their results also showed that 67 percent of voters under 25 were supportive, plus it even revealed over 50 percent support from those over 64 years old.
The last time that California voted for recreational marijuana was back in 2010. Things weren’t looking nearly as promising as they do now, with no other states, like Colorado, setting precedents for us. There was also a huge controversy about the logistics of the legislation, that tore the cannabis community apart. The measure ended up failing with over 53 percent of voters being against legalizing at that time. This time around we’ve gotten to see four states try their hand with recreational cannabis, and now that we’ve all seen that things went fairly smoothly, the idea seems like much less of a potential gamble. Of course, every state has had their bumps in the road, but California hopes to learn from their mistakes. Legal weed in California would be a major game changer for everyone that lives in my state. California might currently have some fairly relaxed laws and policies regarding cannabis, but this would bestow every citizen 21 and over with multiple important liberties. The chance to grow your own cannabis might be the most important part of all, since it finally puts us back in control of what we put in our bodies. If the cannabis community can remain in solidarity, there is little doubt that this will finally be the year for legal weed in California.