Marijuana: Poll says government should stay away

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A poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, and released Thursday, shows that 72 percent of those polled think the federal government should refrain from arresting folks using marijuana in the states that have legalized it; 24 percent think they shouldn't.

In other questions, 68 percent think the government should not prosecute marijuana growers; and 64 percent think those who sell the substance should be left alone.

"Republicans usually make the case for federalism, but in all three instances — smoking, growing, selling Reason-Rupe finds higher numbers of independents and Democrats embrace the federalist argument that the federal government should stand down in states that have legalized marijuana," writes Reason.com, which commissioned the look.

Interestingly, the support for the legalization of cannabis is way lower than the support for the federal government backing off of users. Hard to say if this reflects a general mistrust of power — the same poll shows Congress' approval numbers at 17 percent — but either way, only 47 percent of those polled support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with 49-percent opposed. A similarly worded question — "Some people argue the government should treat marijuana the same as alcohol. Do you agree or disagree?" — revealed 53 percent of respondents agreed.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 17 and 21, and included 1,000 adults reached by mobile and landline phones.

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