Push to legalize pot for recreational use in California - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Push to legalize pot for recreational use in California

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SAN DIEGO (CBS News) - A new CBS News opinion poll shows that 56-percent of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal - a new high, and a slight increase from a year ago.

The poll showed that 36-percent think it should not be legal, down seven points from last year.

Results showed there are partisan differences. Most Democrats and independents think marijuana use should be legal, while most Republicans do not.

According to results, a majority of men continue to favor marijuana legalization (59 percent), and now most women favor it as well (54 percent).

Most Americans under 65 support legal marijuana use, particularly younger adults: 71 percent of adults under 35 think marijuana use should be legal, a jump of 10 points since last year.

Among those surveyed, nearly nine in ten think doctors should be able to prescribe small amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.

The use of marijuana has increased over the past twenty-years according to the CBS News report. Fifty-one-percent of Americans say they have tried marijuana, up from 43 percent a year ago. Most men and most Americans under 65 have tried marijuana, while most women and most seniors have not.

Only nine-percent of Americans believe marijuana is more harmful than alcohol, while 52-percent of Americans believe marijuana is safer than alcohol. About 27-percent of Americans said both are equally harmful and only nine-percent picked neither.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans who have tried marijuana think alcohol is more harmful, while those who have not are more likely to think they are equally harmful.

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