Poll: Keep feds out of state pot laws

Poll: Keep feds out of state pot laws

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Fact Track

Los Angeles, CA

#1 Dec 10, 2012
Most Americans want the federal government to stop enforcing anti-marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state, which legalized the drug earlier this year, according to a poll released Monday.

Sixty-four percent do not want the federal government to enforce its anti-marijuana laws in those states, compared to only 34 percent who do, according to a Gallup Poll. Among those who believe marijuana use should be legal, a whopping 87 percent said the federal government should back off. But even among those who oppose marijuana legalization, 43 percent don’t want the federal government to get involved.

Both Colorado and Washington adopted Election Day referenda eliminating the last civil and criminal penalties for recreational marijuana use. The Justice Department is still reviewing the laws. Last week, The New York Times reported the Justice Department was considering making a rare arrest of a low-level marijuana user in order to test the laws and is also weighing the possibility of filing pre-emptive lawsuits blocking the creation of legalized marijuana markets in each state.

The poll found 48 percent support for the legalization of marijuana, with 50 percent opposed. Since the election, polls from ABC News and CBS News have also found marijuana legalization drawing just short of majority support.

There are partisan and age splits on the topic. A third of Republicans support legalization, with two-thirds opposed. In comparison, 61 percent of Democrats support legalizing the drug. And three-fifths of Americans aged 18 to 29 support legalization, while 61 percent of those older than 65 oppose it.

The poll of 1,015 adults was conducted from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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