Who Doesn't Like Pot? Elderly, Women, Latinos

Paging Cheech Marin.

The most high-profile political campaign of the season is likely to be this November's ballot initiative to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana. The issue is a new one, and even people who don't care about pot's legal status will pay attention because of the money involved.

The cash-strapped state could realize $1 billion or more in revenues, according to some estimates.

A new non-partisan public poll, from the Public Policy Institute of California, shows the outlines of what's likely to be a close vote (49 percent favor, 48 percent oppose).

To win, the pro-legalization side will have to convince the old (support for the initiative is lowest among voters who are 55 and older), women (only 42 percent of women in the poll support the initiative, while 54 percent of men do), and especially Latinos (62 percent in the PPIC poll oppose the initiative).

So get ready to see campaign spokesmen and spokeswomen who can reach that demographic: old, Latino women. (Yes, Mr. Marin, 63, and his aging comedic partner, Tommy Chong, are already on board with the measure).

And get ready for ads -- probably web ads, since it's not clear whether TV stations will run ads -- with grandmother types talking about how they don't approve of drugs, but want something as prevalent as marijuana to be safe, regulated and taxed.

Follow us on Twitter @PropZero. Join the conversation about the future of California's cash, kids and jobs.

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