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In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Experts say that compared with U.S. states, Puerto Rico offers lower tax rates and is not subject to a federal tax law that prohibits investors from deducting cannabis-related operating expenses for tax purposes. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high in the US



Public support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. is at its highest level in nearly a half-century of measurement, according to a new poll.

Sixty-four percent of adult Americans say use of the drug should become legal in the Gallup survey released Wednesday.

Gallup reported that its latest figures on the topic followed major shifts in the U.S. legal landscape regarding marijuana since it measured public support last year.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, meaning more than one in five Americans reside in a state where they can legally use the drug.

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Marijuana use remains illegal at the federal level, however, but the issue of legalizing the drug also appeared on a number of state ballot initiatives in 2016.

Gallup first asked adult Americans about legalizing marijuana in 1969, finding that 12 percent supported legalization.

Public support for legalization eventually reached 28 percent in 1978, meaning the idea’s backing had more than doubled by a decade later.

Twenty-five percent supported legalization in 1996, with the total swelling to 34 percent by 2002 and increasing steadily ever since.

Gallup noted that a majority of U.S. adults have consistently supported legalizing marijuana since 2013.

The polling firm found that 60 percent support marijuana legalization between this year and 2014.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has publicly advocated for a crackdown on marijuana, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently reviewing whether to change its stance on the drug.

The DOJ is considering whether to change or more strictly enforce marijuana laws at the federal level.

Gallup conducted its latest survey of 1,028 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, via telephone interviews from Oct. 5-11. It has a 4 percent margin of error.

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