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Poll: Record-high 64 percent of Americans want marijuana legalized

By
Allen Cone
A pro-legalization marijuana supporter smokes in front of the White House on April 2, 2016. Wednesday, a new poll said nearly 65 percent of Americans favor legalizing pot. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
A pro-legalization marijuana supporter smokes in front of the White House on April 2, 2016. Wednesday, a new poll said nearly 65 percent of Americans favor legalizing pot. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A record-high number of adults in the United States -- 64 percent -- say they support legalizing marijuana, according to new research.

According to the Gallup survey, Americans' support for legalizing pot has grown since they poll first asked the question in 1969, when just 12 percent supported the proposal.

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By the end of the 1970s, the figure had more than doubled. It changed little throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 2001, it grew to 34 percent -- and since 2013, a majority of Americans have backed the idea.

In last year's poll, support hit 60 percent for the first time.

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Marijuana is illegal at the federal level but eight states -- Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts -- and Washington, D.C., have fully legalized recreational-use pot.

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington, D.C.

According to Gallup's survey, about 1-in-5 Americans live in a state where the drug has some legal status.

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For the first time this year, a majority of Republicans said they support legalized marijuana -- 51 percent -- which is up 9 points from last year. A majority of Democrats supported it for the first time in 2009, a figure that rose to 72 percent this year. Sixty-seven percent of independent respondents said in this year's poll they back the proposal.

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue," Gallup's Justin McCarthy said of Wednesday's numbers. "Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have."

The new survey was conducted Oct. 5-11 among 1,028 adults. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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