A CBS News poll released late last week has support for marijuana legalization at an all-time high, with as many Americans now saying it should be legal as saying it should not. Some 47% of respondents said it should be legal, while another 47% were opposed.
The poll is in line with a growing number of polls in the last couple of years that show marijuana legalization hovering on the cusp of majority support. A Gallup poll last year had support at 50%, while an Angus-Reid poll last week had support at 54%.
And in what could be a warning signal to Washington, the poll found that 59% thought states should determine whether marijuana should be legal, while only 34% thought the federal government should.
Pot legalization had majority support among independents (55%) and Democrats (51%), but not Republicans (27%). It had majority support among young people (18-to-29, 54%; 30-to-44, 53%), but not among the middle aged (46%) or those 65 and older (30%). The poll did not provide a breakdown by gender.
The poll also found overwhelming support for medical marijuana (83%), even though only 29% thought most medical marijuana "is being used to alleviate suffering from serious illnesses."
The poll was conducted November 16-19 with 1,100 respondents using both land lines and cell phones. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.