California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, when asked about the possibility of legalizing and taxing marijuana as a means to solve the state's budgetary problems, stopped short of endorsing legalization but said he wants to see debate. From the Sacramento Bee:
"Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"
A Field poll released April 30 showed 56 percent of Californians (out of 901 polled) supporting the legalization and taxation of marijuana as a budget fix (margin of error +/-3.4 percent). Marijuana was less popular than other measures but more popular than Schwarzenegger and the state legislature combined, according to a May 1 poll by the same firm. In addition to the budget, pot legalization enjoys another political condition that has led to some support in California: the Mexican drug war.