- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 14, 2019

Marijuana legalization is supported by roughly two-thirds of Americans, the results of a newly released Pew Research Center study showed Thursday.

A survey conducted in September of more than 2,000 adults found that 67% of respondents said they think “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” Pew reported. Thirty-two percent answered no that question.

That two-thirds supermajority is the largest ever recorded by Pew and up five percentage points from a similar survey the group conducted last year.

The showing also marks a significant increase from less than a decade earlier. A survey conducted by Pew in 2010 found that only 41% of respondents said marijuana should be legalized, compared to 52% who answered to the contrary.

When Pew’s pollsters asked a separate question that broke down the policy into medicinal and recreational categories, the results were a staggering 91% in favor of at least some form of legal marijuana use.

Roughly six-in-ten Americans — 59% — said marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational use, according to the latest survey, while 32% said marijuana should be legal for medicinal use. Only 8% said pot use should not be legal under any circumstances, Pew reported.

The results of the latest Pew survey are on par with recent reporting from other polling firms showing increased acceptance of the idea of legal marijuana. Gallup said last month that 66% of respondents surveyed said they support making marijuana legal.

Marijuana is classified a Schedule 1 drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act and accordingly prohibited by federal law. Most states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation defying the federal prohibition, however. Thirty-three states have passed state laws legalizing medicinal marijuana, including 11 that permit adults to use marijuana for recreational purposes.

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