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Does Marijuana Make Society Better? New Poll Says Yes

More than half of Americans believe that legalizing marijuana would improve our society, according to a new poll.

The latest Harvard–Harris Poll survey found that 57 percent responded “better” when asked “Do you think legalizing marijuana makes societies better or worse?”

The poll results, released on Wednesday, also showed that:

  • 49 percent believe marijuana should be legalized for both medical and personal use.
  • 37 percent say marijuana should be legalized solely for medicinal purposes.
  • 86 percent support legalizing the plant in some form.
  • Only 14 percent say marijuana should remain illegal.
  • 72 percent say that even if marijuana remains illegal, people should not serve any time in jail.
  • 69 percent answered “no” when asked if it would bother them if marijuana was legalized in their state.

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and adult recreational marijuana is legal in eight states.

“Voters point to drugs as the major source of crime and support tough sentences for drug dealers but view marijuana in a wholly different light,” Harvard–Harris co-director Mark Penn said. “Most think legalization of marijuana would probably be helpful in reducing crime and almost half support legalization.”

The Harvard-Harris Poll was conducted online between July 19 to 24 and was completed by 2,051 registered voters; 37 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 27 percent independent and 4 percent other.The survey is a collaboration of the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and The Harris Poll.

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