Latest polls find majority of West Coast voters, Californians, back marijuana legalization

Among poll respondents, support for the proposal was strongest among males (65 percent), 'liberals' (77 percent), and those between the ages of 18 and 34 (74 percent). Support was weakest among self-identified 'conservatives' (39 percent) and those 65 years of age or older (39 percent).

In a separate national CBS poll of 858 adults, 55 percent of respondents residing in the west coast said that they back legalization, and only 41 percent oppose the idea.

Nationwide, the poll reported that 44 percent of Americans favor legalizing the use of cannabis, and 51 percent oppose it. Among respondents in the northeast, 44 percent said that they back legalization, versus 40 percent in the south and only 36 percent in the midwest.

A majority of those Americans under age 35 said that they support legalization. Those respondents over age 65 expressed the strongest opposition to legalization (61 percent).

A previous poll by Zogby International reported that 58 percent of west coast voters believe that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.”

In December, a national poll of 1,004 likely voters by Angus Reid reported for the first time that just over half of all Americans endorse marijuana legalization.

By contrast, a separate poll published this week by the Associated Press and CNBC reported that 55 percent of Americans opposed the “complete legalization of the use of marijuana for any purpose.” However, 56 percent of respondents also stated that they believed that  "the regulations on marijuana (should) be the same ... or less strict ... (than) those for alcohol."

More in Civil Rights

GOP needs to evolve on state and local marijuana laws

Read more »