Poll: Americans Favor Legalization of Marijuana 51-44 Percent

By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | December 5, 2012 | 6:57 AM EST

Medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(CNSNews.com) - Americans favor the legalization of marijuana 51 to 44 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.

The poll showed a substantial gender and age gap on the issue:

-- Men favored legalization 59 to 36 percent, but women opposed it, 52 to 44 percent.

-- Americans 18 to 29 years old support legalization 67 to 29 percent, while those over 65 years oppose it, 56 to 35 percent.

-- Respondents between 30 and 44 years old also support the idea of legalization, 58 to 39 percent, while Americans between 45 and 64 are more closely divided, 48 to 47 percent.

The poll noted that the racial split evident in American politics is “barely noticeable” on this question, as 50 percent of white voters and 57 percent of black voters favor legalization.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said of the data:

"With the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal in about 20 states, and Washington and Colorado voting this November to legalize the drug for recreational use, American voters seem to have a more favorable opinion about this once-dreaded drug."

Brown believes the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is inevitable: “It seems likely…given the better than 2-1 majority among younger voters, legalization is just a matter of time.”

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