for marijuana legalization rises among U.S. adults: poll
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[October 13, 2016]
(Reuters) - Support for legalization
of marijuana has risen to nearly 60 percent among U.S. adults, according
to a study published on Wednesday, marking a near reversal of attitudes
held only a decade ago.
More relaxed views about marijuana have led around two dozen states
to allow legal access of some type of the drug and more U.S. states
are set to vote on marijuana related measures on Nov. 8.
The Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of adults in the
United States said the use of marijuana should be made legal, while
37 percent said it should be illegal.
Ten years ago, just 32 percent of adults favored legalization, while
60 percent were opposed to it.
Opinions on marijuana are divided starkly along political party
lines, the poll from the Washington-based center found, with
Democrats supporting legalizing marijuana over having it be illegal
by more than two-to-one.
Sixty-six percent of Democrats favor legalizing marijuana while 30
percent believe it should be illegal.
Among Republicans, 41 percent favor legalization and 55 percent are
opposed to it, according to the poll, which drew responses from
1,201 U.S. adults.
Five U.S. states - Massachusetts, Maine, California, Arizona and
Nevada - will vote on Nov. 8 on whether to legalize recreational use
of marijuana. Four other states are voting on access to medical
Two human rights groups on Wednesday called on U.S. states and the
federal government to decriminalize possession of marijuana for
personal use, citing the damage done by more than 574,000 arrests
for marijuana possession each year.
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Among U.S. voters, Liberal Democrats were most in favor of marijuana
legalization, with 78 percent supporting it, according to the Pew
study. Millennial adults between the ages of 18 and 35 are the age
group most in favor of legalization with 71 percent in support.
Within the Republican party, there is a sharp contrast between
moderate and liberal Republicans and their more conservative
counterparts, according to the poll.
Sixty-three percent of moderate and liberal Republicans are in favor
of legalization. Just 33 percent of conservative Republicans share
this view, with 62 percent saying marijuana should be illegal.
Some 24 states and Washington D.C. currently allow some type of
medical marijuana use, and a handful of states allow its
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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