Poll: Two in three young Americans support legalization of pot in U.S.

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 7, 2014

The legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state last week couldn’t have come at a better time for many young adults hoping to see the push go nationwide – as a large majority of them support the legalization of the cannabis drug throughout the rest of the country according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday night.

The study found that 67 percent of Americans aged 18-34 believe the use of pot in the U.S. should be made legal, with nearly the same number of Americans agreeing that the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes should also be legalized.

Overall, 55 percent of Americans believe recreational marijuana use should be legalized – which makes this year the first time that more Americans support the drug’s legalization than oppose it, according to General Social Survey trends.

Two in three young Americans also seem to disagree that marijuana is both physically and psychologically harmful, while 60 percent of them disagree that pot is a so-called “gateway drug” that leads to the user getting involved in more dangerous drugs. Just 41 percent of young adults believe marijuana is addictive.

The push for marijuana legalization in the U.S. will likely be a key issue in 2014, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said to be considering reviving the state’s 34-year-old medical marijuana law that would allow some hospitals in the Empire State to make use of the drug for treatment purposes. Excluding Colorado and Washington, 20 other states now have laws on the books allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

A Gallup study conducted last October also marked the first time that a majority of adults supported the legalization movement in the study’s 43-year history.

CNN/ORC International conducted a telephone study of 1,010 adult Americans nationwide from January 3-5, 2014. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

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