October 22nd, 2010
10:14 AM ET
11 years ago

Majority of voters oppose Prop. 19, new poll shows

(CNN) - A new poll indicates that a majority of likely voters in California oppose the state's proposition to legalize marijuana.

According to a USC/Los Angeles Times Poll, 51 percent of likely voters said they would vote against Proposition 19, which would allow people 21 years-old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters said they support the measure.

Support for the ballot initiative also varies widely by age and race, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent of likely voters aged 18-29 said they support the measure, while 60 percent of those over the age of 65 oppose legalizing marijuana. Only 28 percent of those 65 and older said they support the measure. Latino voters indicated the strongest opposition to Prop 19. Fifty-seven percent said they opposed the measure, compared to 48 percent of white voters, and 49 percent of black voters.

Proponents of Prop 19 say it would generate much needed revenue and cut drug enforcement costs. The California Attorney General's office estimated that the measure has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxes and fees, while saving the state tens of millions of dollars annually on costs related to incarceration and supervision of marijuana offenders.

But opponents, including the U.S. Justice Department and former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, say the measure violates federal law and endangers public safety. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that the Justice Department will continue to enforce federal law regardless of the outcome of the ballot initiative. Federal law prohibits individuals and organizations from possessing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana for recreational use.

The USC/LA Times poll was conducted by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, in conjunction with Republican polling firm American Viewpoint. It surveyed more than 1,500 registered voters from October 13-20, with a likely voter sample of 878 voters.

Filed under: 2010 • California • Proposition 19
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Byron

    The polls have one major fault: if you call up a residence where someone is smoking or growing pot illegally, they will obviously say that they oppose the measure because they'll think that the pollster might be law enforcement or a snoop.

    October 22, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Ed

    Current prohibition on cannabis has failed, by any measure you choose. If Prop19 doesn't pass, it won't be long before another vote comes along somewhere. The time has come for this.

    October 22, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    California has a serious history of allowing the voters to vote an then overturning the voice of the voters in court! Gay marriage has been voted down several times now and lo and behold, the 9th Circuit Court throws it all away! The liberal experiment has harmed you Cali! In a big way!

    October 22, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Dave L

    Too bad these polls are conducted by home telephones, of which only baby boomers and older still have. A real poll would be going around and asking ordinary people of all age groups. The only people responding to polls these days are old, they do not represent the majority. But keep at it, the American people are sick of the war on America, we're sick of seeing our friends and family members' lives ruined over prohibitionist laws.

    October 22, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Carl in MI

    You know... at 51% in the polls, CNN could have easily said the issue is a toss-up because it is. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! CNN has to take the FAUX News approach on everything lately and try to make each headline of theirs influence or sway the news conservatively, for whatever lame reason. It's a virtual tie, jackasses... stop trying to CREATE the news and go back to REPORTING the news like you used to AND MAYBE YOUR NUMBERS WILL STARTING INCREASING AGAIN. Morons....

    October 22, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Kenneth Close

    I still have not figured out how the genius's in Washington have yet to figure out alcohol does basically the same thing?????

    October 22, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Frasier6670

    Good then they should go with the WILL OF THE PEOPLE for this and GAY MARRIAGE. One liberal judge should not be able to trump democracy. This is how our whole country should be run. Get rid of all these useless politicians bleeding the taxpayers and let the people vote on the issues.

    October 22, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    If a proposition to legalize casual marijuana use is presented in New York, I promise to oppose it.
    Apparently the drug has medical uses, such as for nausea caused by chemotherapy. Nobody –with the exceptions of members of some religions–opposes medically prescribed controlled substances.
    Of course, some of those religions prefer death to blood transfusions.

    October 22, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. ConservativeChristian

    Jesus said, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. (Matthew 7:12).

    I know I would not want my child sent to jail with the sexual predators, or my aging parents to have their house confiscated and sold by the police, over a little marijuana. (And in California, you can still lose your house, your freedom, and your kids for growing even one single plant, even under the recently passed "decriminalization" rule, so California really DOES still need Prop 19.)

    We can change the world when we vote.

    October 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Fred

    No one is thinking of the new crimes from prop 19 passing. Young people getting robbed for their marijuana yields/grows to get the profits after steeling it. We were just robbed after a grower befriended us for almost a year. We had invested 8500 dollars to set up a legal grow room with light and equipment. The guy really worked us with kindness he even had us trim our medication for our hospice patients to the very end letting us spread the word their medication were almost ready. Just a side note we provide free medication to hospice patients here in California. Not only did this thug rob me and my wife at gun point for our half of the grow equipment and lights we purchased he also robbed us of our 5 pounds of medication worth $35,000 that was going to our Hospice patients. This guy owns a legal dispensary here in Anaheim California too. He is reselling our medication now for pure profit and he shut down our grow room and moved it to another unknown location. This man said he would kill me and my family if so much as tried to get our hospice patients medication back, and if we even dared to call law enforcement. This will be one of the many new crimes of prop 19.
    Feel free to e-mail me for more information.

    October 22, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. jesse

    LA Times is being persuaded by Sheriff Lee Baca... You think after a year of polling and Pro Prop 19 getting high 40 percentile that this poll is even remotely accurate... give me a break CNN... win or lose on Nov. 2nd you'll see how wrong they were

    October 22, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Fred

    My wife just gave me the hard numbers so the first comment was low balled in our view of prop 19 and what could be a wide spread problem for the new pro 19 if it passes.

    October 22, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Me

    Your polls mean nothing.
    They have no worth.
    These polls do not matter
    I refuse to allow these stupid polls to affect my thinking on any given topic one way or another!
    ALL POLLS!!!
    CNN does polls because they have forgotten how to report the news

    October 22, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. barry

    Not surprising this is the same state that past a marriage ban for gays and lesbians. California is not as liberal as most Democrats want to believe.

    October 22, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. Ben

    Just legalize it on the federal level, more exposure will clear up myths about the plant...

    October 22, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. pedro

    Time will tell... Justice WILL come!!!

    October 22, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Dave

    This world will be better when all the generation born between 1940-1970 lose their grip on power over America. The boomer generation opposes this because they perceive it as something young people want. It's pretty obvious.

    October 22, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. 228rory

    This is just an indication on how flawed the "likely voter" poll model is. This proposition is going galvanize the young voter demo and will pass in a land slide.

    October 22, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. fielding mellish

    Bummer. Will another state please step up to the plate in support of this harmless herb?

    October 22, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. JOhn

    These polls are becoming increasingly worthless. Younger people do not have land lines, they have cell phones and polls do not call cell phones. THey see the disparady in the age groups but the ingnore it in the polls itself.

    Polls show that polls will show what people are told that polls will show.

    October 22, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. T'SAH from Virginia

    STOP polling the RIGHT and you will get better results!!!! They're still in NO MODE thinking this is an Obama Agenda!!!

    Why should a WEED be outlawed anyway? It was not put on this earth just to grow WILD!! That is what the PEACE PIPE was all about when America was invaded (I'm guessing because they did get FIRED UP after they smoked it).

    I think in the long run it will STOP Drug Trafficking and other crimes that are related to its distribution!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I sincerely approve this message!!

    October 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |