BY CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO
The concept of legalized marijuana is rapidly gaining in popularity, a new poll finds.
The survey, released Friday by the Associated Press and University of Chicago, shows that 61 percent of Americans believe the drug should be legal in the U.S. compared with 39 percent who do not. An October Gallup poll found 58 percent support legalizing marijuana, tying the high point in the firm’s 46-year trend.
In the AP poll, respondents also were asked the manner by which marijuana should be legalized. Twenty-four percent said it should be legitimized only for those with a medical prescription; 33 percent want no restrictions and 43 percent prefer restrictions on the amount of marijuana that could be purchased. An overwhelming majority (93 percent) continue to believe other drugs like cocaine and heroin should remain illegal in the U.S.
The poll comes amid a push by advocates aiming for the November ballot to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California. That measure, largely sponsored by internet entrepreneur and investor Sean Parker, would legitimize up to 1 ounce of marijuana and cultivation of six marijuana plants for people 21 and over.