Illinois lawmakers ponder proposal to legalize marijuana

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According to the poll, an overwhelming 94 percent of respondents said they support the use of marijuana by adults for medicinal purposes - also the highest level of support seen in the poll's history.

Support for marijuana legalisation has increased steadily since 2013, crossing to majority support in 2014.

There continues to be support for allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana, even among those who oppose legalizing the drug. In 18 other states, medical marijuana laws are so restrictive that the MPP considers them "ineffective or flawed".

Many states have legalized pot in some form, and most Americans don't think the federal government should try to stop its sale and use in those states.

But rather than waiting for the Justice Department to move first, this week the California Assembly's Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would prohibit state and local police from helping federal agents crack down on marijuana activity that the state has deemed legal.

Just recently, Canada introduced language that would legalize cannabis nationally, and while the debate over marijuana use has gone on for years in the United States, it seems that legalization has taken some of the stigma of the drug away.

As the czar of Colorado's marijuana program, Barbara Brohl says she is neither pro- nor anti-pot. Even most Americans who oppose legalizing marijuana think so.

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Most Americans view marijuana in particular as safer than alcohol.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly recently called marijuana "a potentially unsafe gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs" — a view long held by drug warriors despite scant evidence of its validity.

But when you look back at history, this support shouldn't be that surprising. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group, medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. American voters are 60-34 percent in favor of the measure. Roughly 70 percent of users support national legalization and federal regulation of the substance.

There are partisan differences. The marijuana sold to today's teenagers is far more powerful than the marijuana sold to their parents 20 years ago. More than half said they believe marijuana is socially acceptable, and addiction did not rank very high on most respondents lists of concerns about weed use. "We all want more, but Americans say they are generally, financially healthy". Independents are a little more likely to have tried it than either Democrats or Republicans.

Commissioned by Yahoo! News and performed by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, the survey asked a representative sample of 1,122 adults nationwide via cellphones and land-line phones.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers.