Feature: Race and Reefer — the #AfricanAmerican Vote in California’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative

(Stopthedrugwar.org) With the clock ticking down toward Election Day in November, both proponents and opponents of California’s Control and Tax Cannabis marijuana legalization initiative, now known officially as Proposition 19, are going after the African American vote. As it now stands, though, the community is highly supportive — winning the black vote will be an uphill struggle for pot foes at best.

A Survey USA poll done in April found that support for marijuana legalization among blacks was at 67%, the highest level of any major ethnic group in the state. Whites were second at 59%, followed by Asians at 58% and Hispanics at 45%. The findings are consistent with other polls that show similar high levels of support for pot legalization in the state’s black community.

While African Americans constitute only 5.8% of the state’s electorate, the November vote is shaping up to be extremely close, and holding onto key constituencies, even relatively small ones, could end up making the difference on Election Day.

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