Americans are increasingly supportive of legalizing marijuana in general, but they're not yet ready to see Colorado's new marijuana marketplace replicated nationwide, according to recent polling from CNN/ORC.
A 55 percent majority of Americans said the use of marijuana should be legal, up from just 16 percent 25 years ago. Most don't consider smoking marijuana to be morally wrong. Nearly three-quarters said marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol, and 64 percent that it was less dangerous than tobacco products.
Just 33 percent of Americans, however, consider Colorado's law to be a good idea, while 29 percent called it a bad idea and the largest group, 37 percent, said they're waiting to see what happens. Results are divided largely along age lines, with adults under 34 the most likely to support the law, and those 65 and over the least likely.
Even if the public as a whole isn't completely sold on retail marijuana, most don't want to see harsh punishments either. Seventy percent said the federal government should not arrest users and sellers of marijuana in Colorado, and 79 percent said arrests for illegal marijuana possession should lead to a fine, not jail time.
The CNN/ORC poll surveyed 1,010 adults between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, using live phone interviews.
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