NEW YORK (CBS) – – Americans’ support for legal marijuana use is at an all-time high, according to a recent CBS News poll.

Fifty-six percent of the country is in favor of legalizing pot, the poll found. That’s the highest percentage of support recorded so far by CBS News.

A slight majority of Americans – 51 percent – now say they’ve tried marijuana. Only 43 percent admitted to pot use in last year’s poll, and 34 percent did in 1997.

Massachusetts voters are set to consider a ballot question in November that would legalize marijuana. The measure is being opposed by the state’s high-profile politicians, but polls have shown a majority of Bay State residents support legalization.

Support for medical marijuana, which is legal in Massachusetts, is almost universal. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said doctors should be allowed to prescribe small amounts of marijuana to patients suffering from serious illnesses.

Viewpoints on pot legalization differ on political lines. The CBS News poll found that most Democrats and Independents support legalizing marijuana, while most Republicans do not.


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