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As states continue to pass laws to legalize marijuana, support for its medical and recreational uses continues to grow, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
A recent poll indicates that 91% of Americans feel that marijuana should be legal for adult use across the country, according to the Pew Research Center. Six out of 10 adults surveyed were in agreement when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, while 31% believe that it should be legalized just for medical use.
There wasn't much disparity when broken down by race. Whites were 92% in favor when asked about legalizing marijuana in some form (63% for recreational and medical, 29% medical only) with Blacks (91% total, 65% recreational/medical, 26% medical), Hispanics, (87%, 52%, 25%) and Asians (89%, 43%, 46%) leaning overwhelmingly in the same direction.
However, disapproval rates varied depending by the person's political affiliation and age.
Those surveyed who are associated with political parties were not in as much agreement. Only 47% of Republicans surveyed believe marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational purposes, while 72% of Democrats said they were in favor of total legalization.
Meanwhile, respondents who were least in favor of legalization for medical and/or recreational use were 75 years or older. Those under the age of 30 were heavily in agreement (70%) with legalizing marijuana for both uses.
For the Pew study, 5,109 U.S. adults were surveyed in early April. Everyone who took part is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel, an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses.
The poll was released as legislators, government agencies and citizens in many states push for marijuana legalization measures. New York was the latest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The law made New York the 15th state, along with Washington, D.C, to allow recreational use of the drug.
While there is a legalization movement nationally, state and local governments are in debate over how to implement the legal sale of marijuana, how to use tax revenues collected from those sales, and what are the health implications associated with legalization.
To see the results of the Pew poll click here.
Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty.
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