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CNN Poll Finds Huge Support for Legalizing Marijuana
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A CNN/ORC International Survey released this week, has found that a majority of American respondents surveyed were in favor of legalizing marijuana. In a remarkable turnaround of attitudes, the survey found that while in the 70s, 65% Americans had opined that marijuana was a serious problem for the United States, now only 19% believe so.

The poll was conducted by ORC International from January 3-5, and 1,010 adults nationwide were interviewed on the telephone. According to CNN, the survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said, “Attitudes toward the effects of marijuana and whether it is morally wrong to smoke pot have changed dramatically over time. This also means that marijuana use is just not all that important to Americans any longer.”

Citing that the numbers of those who believe marijuana is a gateway drug, or those who believe marijuana is physically harmful have declined by close to 20%, Holland commented, “Clearly there are some reservations about marijuana, but not the widespread fear that existed during the original War on Drugs in the 1970s.”

However, the biggest change was observed in the numbers of those who believed smoking marijuana was morally wrong. While even in 1987 at least 70% Americans held smoking marijuana was wrong, now only 35% believe so – the number has halved.

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The survey found that support for marijuana legalization was highest among the younger generations, while those aged 65 years or older continued to oppose legalization of marijuana. The survey found that two-thirds of those between 18 and 34 years of age said marijuana should be legal, and 64% of those aged between 34 and 49 years supported legalization of marijuana. However out of those in the age group of 65 years or older, only 39% supported marijuana legalization.

The survey also found a wide regional and political divide in relation to marijuana legalization. While 60% of respondents from the Northeast supported legalization, only 48% respondents in the South held the same views. Also 62% of Democrats surveyed supported legalization while out of those Republicans surveyed, only 36% favored legalization of marijuana to any extent.


A CNN/ORC International Survey conducted through telephonic interviews on 1,010 adults nationwide found majority of Americans in favor of marijuana legalization. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland pointed out that the attitudes of people towards the effects of marijuana and whether smoking pot is morally wrong has undergone drastic change over the years. The survey found those between 18-49 years supported legalization, while those beyond 65 years of age opposed.


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