U.K. legalizing cannabis supported by near-majority of voters

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Almost half of Britons support the legalization of cannabis, according to a survey commissioned by a group associated with the ruling Conservative Party.

Legalization is backed by 48% with only 24% opposed, based on a YouGov poll carried out for the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group. Support is highest among 18-24 year-olds at 54% and lowest among people 65 or older at 39%. A separate YouGov poll last year found 43% support and 41% opposed.

The latest result “illustrates the widening gulf between the stubborn, decades-old policies of blanket prohibition and the developing attitude of millions of voters,” Rob Wilson, a former Tory minister and now-chief executive officer of the CDPRG, wrote in an online article for the Sunday Times cited by the newspaper.

Pot has already become legal in Canada and some U.S. states, sparking a wave of investments in marijuana stocks and exchange-traded funds. The global market for legal cannabis was worth almost $11 billion last year, according to Jefferies Financial Group.

The U.K. legalized medicinal cannabis in 2018. The Church of England said in June it would consider investments in medical marijuana, according to the Financial Times.

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