California was the first state to allow medical marijuana. Now, two decades later, voters are expected to be asked whether to legalize recreational use of the drug. The legalization measure most likely to qualify for the statewide November ballot is the product of months of negotiations between groups with varying interests, from drug-law reformers, to growers and distributors, to famous financiers and politicians.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
March 25, 2016 – 12:38 PM

  • 61 percent of Americans favor legal weed
  • A poll last fall found 58 support, tying a high

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.

Read more here: