Most Americans think states should be allowed to legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government, a new poll found.
Sixty-four percent of Americans want the federal government to allow states to set their own marijuana laws, according to a new Gallup poll. And 40 percent of the respondents who personally did not favor marijuana legalization nevertheless said that states, rather than the federal government, should have the final say on the issue.
The poll comes at a time when the Obama administration has indicated that it will take the opposite approach. Government officials are weighing what steps to take against Colorado and Washington, where a majority of voters legalized recreational marijuana usage in the November election. Some senior adviswrs to the president have urged a “stern response,” according to The New York Times.
But the popularity of letting states decide their own marijuana laws may put Obama in a difficult political position if he chooses to intervene, given that legalization is highly favored by many of the people who voted for him—including young people and liberals. In Colorado—a state that Obama carried—marijuana legalization received more votes than the president did.
On the issue of legalization itself, Americans remain roughly split, although support for legalized marijuana has steadily risen over the years.
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