Hispanics are less likely to back legalization than either white or black voters, according to a poll released last month by the Pew Research Center.

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WASHINGTON —

While a surge in Latino voters could help Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, it could hurt efforts to legalize marijuana in nine states.

Hispanics are less likely to back legalization than either white or black voters, according to a poll released last month by the Pew Research Center.

Taking their measure

Across America, millions of voters will be asked to decide the fate of more than 150 ballot measures, including pot laws. California alone accounts for almost 10 percent of the approximately 160 ballot measures spread over 35 states. Here are a few to keep an eye on.

GUNS: In addition to Washington voters being asked to allow families or authorities to get a court order to restrict gun access when a person exhibits mental illness or indicates they may harm themselves or other people, Nevada and Maine have proposals that would eliminate the so-called gun-show loophole by requiring federal background checks on firearm sales between private parties — including those at gun shows. California will decide whether background checks must be completed on large-capacity ammunition magazines. It would also require most ammunition sales be made through licensed vendors and reported to the Department of Justice.

MINIMUM WAGE: Voters in Arizona, Colorado and Maine, as well as Washington, will decide whether to increase the minimum wage. In Colorado, Arizona and Maine, it would increase to $12 an hour. Washington will consider a $13.75-an-hour minimum wage. With the exception of Maine, the full increase would be in effect by 2020. South Dakota, however, is seeking to reduce its minimum wage for workers under 18 from $8.55 to $7.25 an hour.

DEATH PENALTY: California has two death-penalty measures on the ballot: Proposition 62 seeks to repeal capital punishment, and retroactively apply to all prisoners now on death row. Proposition 66 would place a five-year limit on the appeals process for a person sentenced to death, and initial appeals would be handled by trial courts. Because the measures offer opposite solutions, if both were to pass, the one with the highest vote total would become law. Nebraska voters will be asked to to reinstate the death penalty, which lawmakers banned last year. Oklahoma voters will decide on amending the state constitution to carry out the death penalty by other means if one method is deemed invalid — as occurred in Nebraska when its sole means of execution, the electric chair, was ruled as cruel and unusual punishment by the state’s Supreme Court. Capital punishment is the law in 30 states.

OTHER ISSUES: Voters in Colorado will choose whether to remove slavery from its constitution. The state’s constitution now allows for slavery as punishment for a crime. The ballot measure would eliminate slavery as an option. In California, voters will decide whether adult-film stars should be required to wear condoms during the filming of sex scenes. The measure would also require film producers to pay for medical tests related to sexually transmitted diseases.

Los Angeles Times

Forty-six percent of Hispanics said the drug should be legal, while 49 percent said it should remain illegal, the poll found. By comparison, big majorities of both black and white voters — 59 percent — said it was time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.

“Latinos could determine who moves into the White House — and they may also be the deciding votes in either direction on the marijuana initiatives,” said Sarah Trumble, deputy director of social policy for Third Way, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.

Part of it is generational, with older traditional, conservative Latinos who associate marijuana with crime and addiction, opposing legalization, with younger Latinos tending to favor it.

Four of the nine states voting on marijuana-legalization measures have large and growing Hispanic populations: Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona. In Florida, for example, Hispanics strongly favor Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, over Republican Donald Trump, and they make up more than 15 percent of the state’s voters.

“How they vote on marijuana will have a major impact — not only in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona tomorrow — but also on future policy and public opinion, given the demographic shifts the nation is undergoing,” Trumble said.

Pot backers hope that 2016 will mark a turning point in their long drive to legalize the drug. If the votes go their way, nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population could live in states with legalized recreational marijuana.

“These ballot measures are all big steps forward for the marijuana-policy reform movement regardless of their outcome on Election Day,” said Mason Tvert, communications director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. He said the national debate had shifted “from whether marijuana should be legalized to how it can best be regulated and taxed.”

President Obama jumped into the debate last Friday, saying the federal government will likely have to rethink its ban on marijuana if the legalization measures pass Tuesday.

In an interview with Bill Maher on HBO, Obama said the Justice Department, FBI and drug-enforcement agents would have a hard time figuring out “how they’re supposed to enforce laws in some places and not in others,” particularly if state voters decide to legalize the drug through the entire Pacific corridor.

“That is not going to be tenable,” said Obama, who has opposed federal marijuana legalization but has allowed states to sell and tax the drug.

The most-watched votes Tuesday will be in five states — California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine — that will decide whether to fully legalize and regulate pot. They would join four states that already allow using the drug for recreational purposes: Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon.

Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas will decide whether to approve marijuana for medical use, while Montana residents will vote on whether to loosen restrictions on the state’s medical-marijuana laws. Twenty-five states have already approved medical marijuana.

California, the first state to approve medical marijuana, in 1996, represents the biggest prize for legalization backers.

On Friday, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco told the Los Angeles Times that she plans to vote for legalization. She’s at odds with Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who opposes it.

Trumble said female voters would be another group that could be key in determining the outcome of the nine ballot measures.

While a large number of female voters could help Clinton, Trumble said polls had found that women were less likely to back legalization than men, particularly older women and Republican women.

“How many women — and of what age and political persuasion — the Clinton turnout effort delivers is likely to be key,” Trumble said.