Support For Marijuana Legalization Soars To 56 Percent Nationally

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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A majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, and the percentage of people saying they have tried the drug is at a record high, according to a new CBS New Poll.

Fifty-six percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization, according to the CBS poll released Wednesday. That’s up from 53 percent in 2015. And just over half of those polled said they have used marijuana.

Young Americans were the biggest supporters of major marijuana reform, with more than 70 percent of under 35s in favor of marijuana legalization. Under a third of Americans – 31 percent – aged 65 and older think marijuana should be legalized.

Support for medical marijuana was even more popular, with 90 percent of those polled in favor of legalizing the drug for medical purposes, and 60 percent saying it was up to individual states to decide the right approach.

None of the seven other currently illegal drugs that were part of the same poll recorded majority support for either decriminalization or legalization. Heroin was found to be the most unpopular drug among those polled with 80 percent opposing decriminalization and 88 percent opposing legalization. (RELATED: Marijuana Is The Only Drug Americans Want Legalized)

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in four states, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. There are 11 states with a strong chance of legalizing in the next few years. Medical cannabis is legal in 23 states.

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Guy Bentley