Fired up, ready to go: Support grows for medical marijuana 

Hey, bud.                                                                    (ap file photo)

On his way out of office this week, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign a medical marijuana bill passed in both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature. We're thinking incoming Republican Gov. Chris Christie would officially disapprove.

Corzine's signature will make the Jerz the 14th state to legalize pot for medical use.

A new ABC News poll finds 81 percent of Americans support such laws, and nearly half think marijuana should be decriminalized -- a significant shift in attitudes from a decade ago.

Nationally, this survey finds 46 percent support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use – the same as it was last spring, and well above its level in past years, for example 39 percent in 2002 and 22 percent in 1997.

Pollster Gary Langer notes that (surprise) Democrats, liberals, independents, moderates and the young tend to support looser marijuana laws, while Republicans and seniors look askance. This was surprising, however:

Medical marijuana, for its part, receives majority support across the political and ideological spectrum, from 68 percent of conservatives and 72 percent of Republicans as well as 85 percent of Democrats and independents and about nine in 10 liberals and moderates. Support slips to 69 percent among seniors, vs. 83 percent among all adults under age 65.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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