More Americans Than Ever Want Marijuana Legalized

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Even some seasoned pot smokers told Eyewitness News off camera yhat they don't appreciate the idea of legalizing marijuana either because it opens the door for big business to take over.

Despite Patrick Kennedy's intense battle against marijuana legalization, despite Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly flip-flopping his stance on cannabis, despite Donald Trump's recently elected drug czar Tom Marino being a weed prohibitionist, despite marijuana still being classified as a Schedule I drug on level with heroin, this has not stopped from the public's casual embrace of cannabis.

Canadians appear to have mixed feelings about new federal legislation that will eventually legalize marijuana. Only 7 percent think marijuana is the more risky of the two.

New polling shows that almost every voter in the United States supports legalizing medical marijuana, and a strong majority supports legalizing recreational marijuana.

The head of Colorado's Department of Revenue has spoken to IL legislators considering a proposal to legalize marijuana in the state.

Further, 71% of Americans oppose a federal crackdown on state-legal marijuana, with a relatively even split between Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Although approval fluctuated somewhat after that, a number of surveys conducted over the past year have shown support for legal recreational marijuana crossing the 60 percent threshold, with fewer and fewer Americans expressing opposition.

"I think it's a more unsafe drug than a lot of people realize". At the same time, 88 percent of the respondents agreed with the legalization for medical use.

Sixty-one percent of Americans think pot should be legal.

Most people under 65 say they've tried marijuana, while only a quarter of those over 65 say they have have.

Most Americans view marijuana in particular as safer than alcohol.

"From a stigmatized, risky drug bought in the shadows, to an accepted treatment for various ills, to a widely accepted recreational outlet, marijuana has made it to the mainstream", noted Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The position is a reversal from the Obama administration's stance, which laid out in an official memo that the federal government wouldn't interfere in states where non-medical use of marijuana is allowed. Seniors remain the one age group for whom a majority still think marijuana use should be against the law. Most are male and under 65.

"There are.hard and complicated questions that need to be answered around the legalization of marijuana both medically and recreationally", he said.