By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Fifty-six percent of Americans say "Marijuana use should be legal," according to the results of a nationwide poll commissioned by CBS News. The percentage is the highest ever reported by news agency.
Only 36 percent of respondents said that they opposed legalization.
Seventy-one percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that marijuana use ought to be legal, an increase of 10 percent since CBS posed the question last year. Among those age 35 to 64, 57 percent of respondents backed legalization, while only 31 percent of those age 65 or older did so.
Men (59 percent) were more likely than women (54 percent) to support making marijuana use legal. Democrats (63 percent) and Independents (58 percent) were far more likely to support legalization compared to Republicans (44 percent).
In response to a separate polling question, 51 percent of Americans admitted having consumed cannabis, up from 34 percent in 1997.
The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- four percent.
The CBS survey results are similar to those of other recent national polls, such as those by reported by Gallup, CBS, and Pew, finding that a majority of Americans now support ending marijuana prohibition.