Sixty percent of Americans support its legalization, while 34% oppose it, according to the poll. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided more happy news last week by unveiling a bill to legalize pot for recreational use across the country by 2018, seeking to join California, Washington and six other states that have already done so.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said that they believe alcohol to be more harmful than cannabis, and a majority of those under the age of 65 acknowledged having used it.
Republicans, by contrast, were largely split on the issue, with 49 to 46 percent saying marijuana use should not be legal.
The poll results saw a five-point bump from last year's poll results in addition to being the highest figure recorded in almost four decades.
State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, raised his concerns about marijuana still being illegal under federal law.
About two-thirds, of 65 percent, of respondents further said they believe marijuana is less unsafe than most other drugs and 53 percent said they believe alcohol is more harmful to a person's health than pot. Similar surveys taken over the past year have shown that public support for legal cannabis is higher now than it has ever been before. But according to the poll, of those who have tried marijuana, 65 percent were parents.
Mike Ness, a 27-year-old who has been smoking marijuana more than half his life, said Thursday that arresting people for small amounts of marijuana does not make sense if the drug will soon be legalized. The states that have provided the clearest and safest path for responsible use of the most contentious plant in human history.
Support for legalization has risen among all age groups - particularly those under 55.
Exit question via lefty Paul Waldman: If Sessions does order a crackdown in states where marijuana is legal, will that trigger a backlash that pushes support for legalization even higher? A majority first backed legalization in 2014. "States can pass whatever laws they choose, but I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner store".
Sponsors of the plan said the measure won't get a vote this legislative season, but they're beginning a series of hearings on how to craft a potential law.