The majority of Americans still oppose legalizing marijuana, but a growing number say people should be allowed to use it for medicinal purposes.
The Associated Press-CNBC poll finds 55% of people oppose making marijuana legal, while 33% are in favor. The age of the respondent was a major factor in their vote -- people under 30 were the only age group in favor of legalization with 54%. As people got older, they increasingly opposed it, topping out with 73% of people older than 65. Opposition was also strong among women, Republicans, and rural and suburban dwellers.
As far as medical marijuana, 60% support the legalization for medicinal purposes. Even Republicans favor that, with 53%.
Some form of Marijuana legalization has been showing up on legislative dockets all over the nation recently. 14 states currently allow the use of medical marijuana. California voters will decide in November if all marijuana should be legal in the state.
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One argument for legalization is that police waste too much time and money on marijuana enforcement. But people responding to the survey are split as to whether they think that is true. 45% percent said the cost is too high, but 48% said it's about right.
With state and local governments desperate for cash, some legalization proponents are pushing marijuana as a potential revenue stream. But only 14 percent of those surveyed who oppose legalization would change their mind if states were to tax the drug.