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Support for marijuana legalization just hit an all time high

Jeremy Berke
marijuana

(Marijuana's in the spotlight.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Support for marijuana legalization has never been higher. 

A whopping 61% of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a CBS poll released Thursday.

That marks a five-percent increase over last year and the highest percentage ever recorded since CBS began asking the question. Back in 1979, 69% of Americans opposed marijuana legalization.

The US's growing approval of marijuana could reflect a jump in the amount of Americans who say they've actually tried smoking, vaporizing, or eating marijuana.

In 1997, 34% of Americans reported trying it. Twenty years later, in 2017, 50% of Americans said they've tried it. CBS notes that support for marijuana legalization is particularly strong among the under-35 crowd.

Further, 71% of Americans oppose a federal crackdown on state-legal marijuana, with a relatively even split between Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

And, despite what Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch opponent of marijuana, says — only 23% of Americans think legalizing marijuana would increase violent crime. 

Recreational marijuana is legal in eight states, though it's still illegal at the federal level. 

See the poll breakdown from CBS here

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