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Cannabis legalization not important to California voters

There are far more pressing issues for California voters than legalizing cannabis, a recent poll finds.

A statewide survey published this month by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that only 30 percent of likely voters consider marijuana legalization to be “a very important issue,” while 32 percent of voters say legalization “is not at all important,” reports the East Bay Express.

For its 69th installment of the “Californians and Their Government” series, the PPIC asked 1,703 adult residents of Californian via landline or cellphone: “Several issues may be decided by California voters on the November 2016 ballot. Please tell me if each of the following issues is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you. … How about legalizing marijuana in California?”

“Fewer than three in 10 Californians say legalizing marijuana is very important,” the PPIC found, “while a majority (63%) say the state bonds for schools are very important.”

Voter enthusiasm for legalization has dropped in favor of ongoing concerns over the state’s drought problem, as well as strengthening the economy.

“Californians name water and the drought (27%) and jobs and the economy (24%) as the most important issues facing the state,” the PPIC found.

Income inequality may also be a reason why support has dwindled, as cannabis legalization is now seen to benefit the rich.

“Two in three Californians say the state is divided into haves and have-nots,” PPIC finds, and only 40 percent of Californians believe they belong in the ‘haves.’

Despite the lack of voter support, several groups have filed legalization initiatives, which experts project will need at least $20 million in order to run a successful campaign. Only one initiative seems to have that kind of funding — the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — which is unsurprisingly supported by billionaire tech venture capitalist Sean Parker.

“I’ve been following this issue with great interest for some time,’ Parker wrote in a statement. “It’s very encouraging to see a vibrant community of activists, many of whom have dedicated their lives to this issue, coming together around a sensible reform-based measure…”

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