National poll shows support of marijuana legalization at record high

Colorado and Washington made history on Election Day when they became the first states to legalize marijuana.

According to a new national poll, 58 percent of Americans support legalization while 39 percent say it should be illegal. Public Policy Polling conducted the newest poll.

The new poll comes out just a couple of days before Washington residents can legally possess pot. Colorado’s new law takes effect January 6, 2013.

But there are still plenty of logistics to be worked out.

Both Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire have asked the U.S. Justice Department for direction on how the federal government plans to handle the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The response has been silent, other than to say marijuana is a controlled substance and enforcement of the federal Controlled Substances Act “remains unchanged.”

Unclear is whether the feds would aggressively enforce that law.

Voters in Colorado approved a new law that allows people 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants. Over the long term, the law allows stores to sell it to recreational users.

The Colorado Legislature still has to create rules and a system for licensing and tax collection.

The bottom line is criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot will be eliminated.

It will still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

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