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66% of registered Pennsylvania voters in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, CBS News poll finds

Majority of Pennsylvanians support legalizing recreational marijuana in state, CBS News Poll finds
Majority of Pennsylvanians support legalizing recreational marijuana in state, CBS News Poll finds 02:35

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- There are new developments in the battle over legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. A large majority, 66% of registered voters, support legalizing recreational marijuana in the commonwealth, a new CBS News battleground tracker poll finds. 

Thirty-four percent do not support legalizing marijuana. 

The CBS News poll found two-thirds of people polled would like marijuana legalized, and while there are bills making their way through the statehouse, there are also efforts to stop them in their tracks. 

"It's just the right thing to do," Rep. Amen Brown said. 

Brown is the sponsor of a bill that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. It appears as though the majority is behind him. 

"I think it's a great thing and they should legalize it," Philadelphia resident Jamel Robinson said. 

Brown says legalizing marijuana would help build revenue in underserved areas. 

"Education, after-school programs, affordable housing, things of that nature and investing that money and creating jobs and helping communities who were hit the hardest by the prohibition," Brown said. 

Brown is working with Republican Sen. Mike Regan, who represents parts of Cumberland and York Counties, to make it happen. 

Regan was not available for comment. In an op-ed he wrote last year, he explained his support by stating, "It's to help law enforcement who are battling crime, gangs and cartels over marijuana." 

But, Dan Bartkowiak, of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is opposed to the idea. 

"We can have conversations to try to improve the criminal justice system and I think that's what a lot of people look at in regards to the full-on legalization of recreational marijuana," Bartkowiak said, "but that's a separate discussion to be had. We don't want to see the candies and gummies and the vaping that is happening."

Meanwhile, another voter we spoke with says there are bigger problems to solve. 

"There are more things to worry about than just legalizing marijuana," Derrick Wilson, of Philadelphia said. "I feel like more protection in the city is more appropriate than anything." 

CBS News did not ask about reforming the criminal justice system. It only asked if people thought recreational marijuana should be legalized. 

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