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Most Iowans support expanding medicinal cannabis and legalizing recreational marijuana

While the Iowa Legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds debate the finer points of Iowa’s medical marijuana laws, a majority of Iowans say they want its medical usages expanded and marijuana to be legalized for recreational use, the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.

It’s the first time the poll has shown a majority, 53%, of Iowans supporting recreational marijuana. Support has ticked up steadily since Selzer & Co., which conducts the Iowa Poll, started asking about it in February 2013. In that poll, only 29% of Iowans supported legalizing recreational marijuana.

Since then, a dozen states, including neighboring Illinois, have legalized recreational use of marijuana. The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature has not debated a similar measure this year.

According to the poll, there is an age divide in whether Iowans believe marijuana should be legalized. Seventy-five percent of people younger than 35 support legalizing recreational marijuana, and 56% of people aged 35 to 54 support legalizing it. For people 55 and older, support of legalized recreational marijuana drops to 34%. Men and women support legalization at about the same clip, 54% and 53%, respectively. [Read more at Des Moines Register]

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