In Colorado, 49 percent of likely voters favor the legalization and taxation of cannabis while 39 percent oppose it and 13 percent are undecided, according to a new Rasmussen poll. (Yes, that adds up to 101 percent; rounding done by Rasmussen.) This is in line with previous results from a CBS News poll showing 55 percent of adults in Western states favor legalization. Note that the CBS New poll was a poll of adults while this Rasmussen poll was of likely midterm voters, a group that tends to skew older and is more inclined to oppose legalizing cannabis.
Not surprisingly, the poll showed large generation and gender divides. A strong majority of men, 58 percent, support legalizing, while women are much more against it, with only 39 percent favoring it. Similarly, 58 percent of voters between 18 and 29 support legalization, but only 31 percent of voters over 65 agree.
New polls in western states such as California, Washington and Colorado show that lifting marijuana prohibition has strong plurality if not majority support. Ending the failed war on cannabis and replacing it with a system of legalization, regulation and taxation is becoming a mainstream view in some western states.
This view, though, does not extend to most politicians, who have been reluctant to support legalization. If the California marijuana-legalization ballot measure passes in November, we may see a few more politicians embrace the cause, which strongly appeals to young voters.