Poll: Americans Support Marijuana for Medical Use

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Most Americans are against making marijuana illegal, but many more support making available for medical use.

An Associated Press-CNBC poll found that 55 percent of Americans oppose legalizing marijuana, while only 33 percent support making pot legal.

However, 60 percent approve its use for medical reasons.

Fourteen states already permit the use of medical marijuana. But some opponents are worried that legalization could lead to reefer madness.

"I think it would be chaos if it was legalized," Shirley Williams, a 75-year-old retired English teacher from Quincy, Ill. told The Associated Press. "People would get in trouble and use marijuana as an excuse."

Others who support legalizing the plant like 25-year-old Jeff Boggs of Visalia, Calif., said the dangers associated with the drug have been overstated.

"People are scared about things they don't know about," said Boggs, who is married and works for an auto damage appraisal company.

With state and local governments desperate for cash, some legalization proponents are pushing marijuana as a potential revenue stream. However, only 14 percent of those surveyed who oppose legalization say they would change their mind if states were to tax the drug.

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said that, since the organization was formed in 1970, there's been a slow but steady erosion of opposition to marijuana.

"Every single metric is pushing toward a zeitgeist in marijuana reform," he said.

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