Strong Support for Marijuana and Gun Control Ballot Measures, Field Poll Finds

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A Field Poll finds that state voters are leaning toward legalizing marijuana. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There is widespread and strong support for ballot measures that would legalize marijuana in California and enact stronger gun control measures in the Golden State, a new Field Poll found.

It's the strongest backing for marijuana legalization ever recorded by the Field Poll, which has been tracking public opinion on the drug for more than five decades.

The last time marijuana legalization was on the California ballot, in 2010, the Field Poll reported that an even 50 percent of likely voters supported the measure; Proposition 19 ultimately failed by just 7 points.

Both of this year's cannabis and gun control measures enjoy support from 60 percent of likely voters polled online between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13 by the Field Poll and Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

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The survey found strong support across demographic groups, with only majorities of Republicans and conservatives opposing both initiatives. Around 30 percent of voters oppose the measures, and the rest are undecided. Women are far more likely than men to support the gun control initiative.

Proposition 64 would legalize the adult use of marijuana and tax the drug. Proposition 63 would require background checks for the purchase of ammunition and mandate that any lost or stolen guns be reported to law enforcement. It would also set up a process for felons prohibited from owning a firearm to turn in their weapons, fully ban magazines with more than 10 rounds of bullets and make the theft of a gun a felony.

Some of Proposition 63's provisions were enacted in legislation approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year, but the ballot measure goes further than that package of bills.

The Field Poll has been tracking public opinion of marijuana legalization for over 50 years, and has seen support for ending prohibition grow dramatically over that time.

In 1969, just 13 percent of California residents said they supported making cannabis legal. In 1983, that number had grown among likely voters to 30 percent. By 2013, support for legalization swelled to 55 percent.