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Legislatures trying to legalize marijuana – with mixed results

The path to legalizing pot often leads the same way: through the ballot box.

Eight states, including California, Colorado and Oregon, have passed voter-approved ballot measures legalizing the purchase and possession of marijuana for anyone 21 and older.

But a new path toward legalization — lawmaker-inspired reforms — is emerging.

The shift is, perhaps, a sign of lawmakers picking up on public opinion. A Pew Research Center survey from October indicated 57% of Americans support legalized marijuana, compared with 37% who want it to remain illegal. A similar Pew survey in 2006 showed almost the opposite — 60% believed it should be illegal, compared with 32% who supported legalization.

This trend also is reflected in many state-level polls, emboldening lawmakers enticed by, among other things, possible tax revenue to move forward with legalization efforts. [Read More at LA Times]

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