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Voters support legal weed

WASHINGTON — A majority of American voters support the legalisation of marijuana, with men and younger voters holding more tolerant public views about use of the drug, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

Voters in Colorado and Washington approved recreational use of marijuana last month, making them the first states in the country to do so even though use of the drug is still illegal under federal law.

“With the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal in about 20 states, and Washington and Colorado voting this November to legalise the drug for recreational use, American voters seem to have a more favourable opinion about this once-dreaded drug,” Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown said.

The public backs legalisation by 51 per cent to 44 per cent, the poll found, but is divided on the issue by age and gender.

Men support legalisation by 59 per cent to 36 per cent while women oppose it by 52 per cent to 44 per cent. Two-thirds of voters under the age of 29 support legalisation, while a majority of voters over the age of 65 oppose it.

“It seems likely, however, that given the better than 2-1 majority among younger voters, legalisation is just a matter of time,” Brown said. It was the first time Quinnipiac had conducted a survey on marijuana use. (Reuters)

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