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More than 60 Percent Of Americans Favor Legal Pot
A little more than 6 out of 10 Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, according to a new Pew Research poll.
In total, 61 percent of those surveyed said they believe marijuana should be legal to purchase and use. That number is up four percent from a year ago and shows a steadily increasing public sentiment that legalization — not criminalization — is the preferred avenue of choice for the substance.
Millennials reported the most support, with around 70 percent of them saying they are in favor of legalization. Generation X respondents were next with a 66 percent support rate, and 56 percent of Baby Boomers say they are in favor of making pot legal.
Looking at the numbers from a political party standpoint, around 70 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of those who identify as independents say they are in favor of legalization.
While only 43 percent of all Republicans support legal marijuana, those numbers change based on age. Those 40 and under who identify as Republicans are largely in favor of legalization (62 percent) while 67 percent of Republicans 65 and over are opposed.
These numbers come on the heels of a move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to roll back Obama-era protections for states who had legalized the sale and possession of recreational marijuana. In total, eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, have moved to make pot legal. Many other states also allow it to be used for medical purposes.
Despite it’s popularity, the drug is still prohibited under federal law and is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance alongside other drugs like LSD and heroin.
U.S. Attorneys in states with legalization, however, have already signaled that they likely won’t change their “hands off” approach to legal weed, as most of them say they have more important issues involving actual crime to worry about in their respective jurisdictions.