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Poll: Most Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

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A new poll released Friday finds that 52 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. The results are in line with other recent surveys showing that most people in the U.S. want to end cannabis prohibition.

The new poll, from YouGov, found that only a third of Americans — 34 percent — oppose legalization.

Among Democrats, support for legalization stands at 66 percent, but only 36 percent of Republicans are on board.

The survey also asked a number of other questions about Americans feelings on marijuana.

Sixty-two percent say that the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have opted to legalize the drug. Majority support for letting states implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference was found among all age groups, races and political affiliations in the survey.

Just 31 percent believe that the use of cannabis leads to the use of harder drugs. No demographic group polled includes a majority of respondents who buy into the so-called “gateway theory.”

The survey found that 66 percent of Americans think the efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. Interestingly, even among respondents who oppose legalization, more say that enforcement efforts aren’t worth the cost than say the money spent on prohibition is worth it.


Last October, Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. Pew put the level of support at 53 percent in an April survey.

The new YouGov poll was conducted December 16-17, 2015 and included 1,000 web-based interviews with American adults. The margin of error is ± 4.6 percent.

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