Survey: 40% of adults in favor of marijuana legalization with tough laws

BERKELEY, CA - MARCH 25: Marijuana plants are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late yesterday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Getty Images

Legalize marijuana, say 40 percent of U.S. adults who responded to a new survey from The Partnership at Drugfree.org .

However, the majority of those surveyed believe marijuana should be only legal for adults aged 21 and older, similar to alcohol.

This year's survey comes after two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized recreational use of marijuana in last November's elections.

"The reality is that marijuana is now legalized for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington and it's clear that society's views on marijuana are evolving dramatically," Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, said in a statement. "The data bring to life the fact that parents -- including the large number who favor legalization--- have serious expectations that legal marijuana will be regulated and restricted to protect kids and teens. Those expectations far exceed how legal marijuana is being implemented."

An advertising agency partnered with the nonprofit to survey more than 1,600 adults in early March 2013, 1,200 of whom were parents of kids ages 10 through 19.

The survey reflects a trend of growing acceptance within the general adult population for marijuana. Seventy percent of adults said they supported the medical use of marijuana while 50 percent said they supported decriminalization.

The Partnership points out that many adults, including those who previously were marijuana users themselves, support strong marijuana laws to keep the drugs out of children's hands.

A majority of parents said they think it should be illegal to provide marijuana to underage children at home. Over 80 percent of parents want a ban on marijuana advertising, and when forced to choose, a majority said the number one place it should be permissible to push a pot advertisement is "nowhere."

Interestingly, responders from Colorado and Washington State also supported strict laws. Ninety percent of parents in both states said marijuana should only be sold through licensed growers, and not in places like convenience stores or newsstands. Ninety-two percent of Colorado parents and 96 percent of Washington parents said marijuana smoking should be banned in public places the same way tobacco is prohibited.

The full report was published July 16 on Drugfree.org.

This kind of intensity of conviction tells us that people aren't just saying that these kinds of regulations are a 'good idea' - they're demanding them,"pollster Scott Kotchko, vice president of Whitman Insight Strategies, said in the statement.

Another recent survey, from the Pew Research Center, found 52 percent of Americans said marijuana use should be legal.

The medical community also appears to be on board with marijuana, for medicinal reasons only. A May 30 survey in the New England Journal of Medicine of almost 1,500 doctors found 76 percent of physicians in favor for medical marijuana when given a scenario of a patient with metastatic breast cancer who is in pain.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow medical marijuana.

But, that too can lead to consequences.

Research showed that laxer restrictions on medical marijuana in Colorado led to increasedrates of accidental ingestions among children visiting a Denver emergency room.

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