Record-High 50% Want Marijuana Legalized
55% of men approve, but only 46% of women
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2011 5:53 PM CDT
SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 29: Jonathan Beaver of San Francisco holds a marijuana cigarette at the San Francisco Patients Cooperative, a medical cannabis cooperative, November 29, 2004 in San Francisco,...   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A record-breaking 50% of Americans now say it's OK to smoke up for recreational purposes, a new Gallup poll finds. Support broke down along political lines, with liberals 69% in favor and conservatives only 34%; moderates crossed the line at 57%. By region, only the South opposed legalizing marijuana, while Americans aged 18-29 approved (62%) and those over 65 did not (only 31% approved).

Marijuana approval hit a previous Gallup-high of 46% last year after a long ride that started at 12% in 1969. Support hovered around the mid-20s into the mid-1990s, and then—after the era of "I didn't inhale" jokes—jumped past 30% in 2000 and 40% in 2009. A survey in that year found that nearly 17 million Americans over the age of 11 had used Mary Jane at least once a month before being surveyed.