AM Alert: Majority of California voters support legalizing weed

jwhite@sacbee.comDecember 10, 2013 

California's last initiative to legalize marijuana suffered a close defeat in 2011, garnering nearly 47 percent of the vote. Organizers are attempting to get the issue back on the ballot in 2014--and a new Field Poll suggests they may have more luck this time around.

For the first time, a clear majority of respondents support the legalization of marijuana. Fifty-five percent of California voters believe the drug should be legal for purchase either by anyone or with age and other controls, up from 50 percent three years ago and a lowly 13 percent four decades ago.

About 56 percent of Californians are also inclined to vote yes on one new proposed statewide initiative, which would legalize marijuana use for adults over the age of 21 and set a standard for intoxication similar to alcohol. The group behind the proposition has until February to collect 500,000 signatures to qualify it for the ballot. If it were to pass next November, California would become the third state to legalize marijuana, after Washington and Colorado.

Here are the statistical tabulations provided exclusively for Capitol Alert. Reporter Jeremy B. White has more on the state's shifting acceptance of marijuana.

VIDEO: The outlook is murky for two controversial projects that could be Gov. Jerry Brown's legacy, Dan Walters says.

NEW JOB: Lobbyist Natasha Karl is leaving the League of California Cities for a new position overseeing government affairs for Sacramento County. She begins the job next week.

DECK THE HALLS: If you're looking for some lunchtime entertainment, the State Capitol Holiday Music Program continues today with the Sheldon High School Concert Choir at 11 a.m. and the Cantare Chorale at noon in the Capitol Rotunda.

CELEBRATIONS: It's a double birthday! Best wishes to Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, who is 42, and state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, turning 47.

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