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Legalization: More Americans Say 'No'
CNBC.com | April 20, 2010 | 12:01 AM EDT

The majority of Americans are reluctant to favor the complete legalization of marijuana for any purpose, despite efforts to liberalize marijuana laws in states across the country, according to a new AP-CNBC poll . Fifty-five percent of the people surveyed said they oppose complete legalization , while one-third of the country is in favor of the idea. (Read all the poll results here .)

Americans’ reluctance to legalize the drug is only marginally tempered by the presumed economic benefits of legalization—an argument being increasingly used by marijuana proponents in cash-starved states. Just 14 percent of the respondents that originally opposed legalization said they would reconsider if the drug was taxed and the money aided state programs and services.

As for the ability of marijuana to improve the economy (as some online voters had suggested to President Obama when he conducted his first cyber “Town Hall” shortly after taking office), a majority of Americans ( 46 percent ) believe legalized pot sales would have no effect on the economy, though roughly one-third of the population disagrees, saying marijuana would make the economy better. And the majority of those polled said marijuana would have no effect on the number of jobs in their communities.

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