The June 2023 PPIC Statewide Survey revealed that California voters remain overwhelmingly positive about cannabis use and retail sales in the state.
Despite a contentious history of marijuana legislation, public opinion of the drug has shifted dramatically over time, leading to a clear trend of increasing support for legalization. The survey also highlighted differences in views between different regions and demographic groups, with notable discrepancies between Democrats and Republicans and among racial/ethnic groups.
Moreover, the survey revealed how Proposition 64 continues to be viewed favorably by Californians despite challenges related to its implementation.
Support for Legalization Across Regions and Demographic Groups
The June PPIC Statewide Survey shows that support for cannabis legalization in California is highly divided along partisan lines. Among Democrats and Independents, there is a clear majority in favor of the measure (69% and 55%, respectively).
However, only about one-third of Republicans said they were in favor of the measure. There are also notable racial/ethnic differences regarding this topic: Latinos and Asian Americans are less likely than whites and African Americans to be in favor.
Further, educational attainment plays an essential role in influencing opinions on legalization; those with higher levels of education tend to have more favorable views. Younger Californians (aged 18-34) were found to be much more supportive than those aged 35 and older (69% vs 58%, respectively).
The survey also showed that support for legalization increases with educational attainment, from 49% among high school only to 65% among those with some college and 69% among college graduates.
Retail Sales and Proposition 64: A Good Thing or Not?
The June PPIC Statewide Survey found that most California voters think Proposition 64 has been a good thing. Across all demographic groups and regions, support for this measure is strong.
Democrats and Independents were most likely to say Prop 64 has been mostly good (76% and 60%, respectively). Only about one-third of Republicans felt the same way. The survey also showed notable racial/ethnic differences when viewing Prop 64 favorably: Latinos and Asian Americans are less likely than whites and African Americans to consider the law positively.
Educational attainment also played an essential role in people's opinions on this topic; those with higher levels of education tend to have more favorable views. Younger Californians (aged 18-34) were much more likely to view the law favorably than those aged 35 and older (70% vs 54%, respectively).
The results from the June PPIC Statewide Survey reveal strong support among Californians for cannabis use and retail sales, with some notable differences between different demographic groups and regions.
Although there is a partisan divide when it comes to opinion on this issue – with Democrats and Independents being much more likely to view it favorably than Republicans – the majority of the state is in favor. Education attainment is also an important factor, with support increasing among those with higher levels of education.
Despite strong public support for Proposition 64, there are still challenges and concerns that lawmakers must address. These include issues related to geographical equity (making sure retail shops can be opened in all areas of the state), social equity (ensuring marginalized communities benefit from cannabis legalization), and black market sales (reducing illegal activity related to cannabis).
Continued follow-up on these developments will be essential for California as it continues to develop a robust marijuana policy landscape.
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