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February 19, 2019

Garden State grownups are lining up pretty solidly behind the push to legalize marijuana for personal use. According to the latest Monmouth University poll, 62 percent are good with the idea. By age, support stands at 81 percent among those 18 to 34 years old and at 56 percent for those ages 35 to 54, with a slight falloff (53 percent) for those 55 and older. Legalization gets the nod from most Democrats (72 percent) and independents (61 percent), but less than half of Republicans (47 percent) approve.

Enthusiasm falls off slightly when it comes to a legislative proposal to allow anyone over 21 to purchase small quantities of marijuana for their own use from state-licensed businesses: 50 percent are in favor, while 34 percent think it’s a bad idea. (Another 17 percent are unsure.)

Among those who favor legalization, 40 percent cite increased tax revenue and economic gains as key reasons for their support. Another 28 percent say prosecuting marijuana possession and jailing users wastes resources, while 21 percent say marijuana use is not harmful or at least no more so than alcohol. Some 14 percent cite medical benefits to using marijuana.

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