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More Californians Oppose Marijuana Legalization

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A slight majority of California residents now opposes a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported July 10.

The latest Field Poll found that 48 percent of likely voters opposed Proposition 19, while 44 percent expressed support. The Field Poll (PDF) found majority support for the ballot item when previously conducted in May.

Three-quarters of those polled said that they were aware of the measure. Those who had heard about the proposal were more likely to support it, whereas voters who were learning about the measure for the first time opposed it by a 2-to-1 margin.

White voters supported the measure, but blacks, Asians, and Latinos were strongly opposed, the poll found.

Critics said the findings reflected growing skepticism about the measure. Initiative supporters said the poll showed that the key to passage will be voter education, with Proposition 19 spokesperson Dale Sky Clare predicting “a nail-biter to the very end.”

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