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Poll Finds Americans Evenly Split on Marijuana Legalization

The first national poll about marijuana legalization taken since voters in Colorado and Washington State approved legalization ballot measures, finds the country evenly split on the issue. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 48 percent of American adults favor legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana while 50 percent of adults oppose it.

The poll once again confirms that there is a significant generational divide on the issue. A majority of all voters under they age of 65 support legalizing marijuana, with voters under the age of 30 being most supportive. According to the poll, 55 percent of adults under the age of 30 believe marijuana should be legal.

The main source of opposition to changing our current marijuana laws is senior citizens. As a group they overwhelmingly oppose marijuana reform. Just 30 percent of Americans over the age of 65 think marijuana should be legalized while 67 want it to remain illegal.

What this generational divide means is that it is only a matter of time before a solid majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. The simple fact is people most opposed to marijuana reform are dying out and being replaced by a young generation that wants to end marijuana prohibition.

It will be interesting to see if opinions about marijuana legalization change dramatically in the next year or two. Once the initiatives in Colorado and Washington State have been in effect for awhile providing Americans with tangible examples of what legalization looks like, that could potentially cause many people to rethink their position on the issue.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at