By Paul Kurtz

By Paul Kurtz and Alexandria Hoff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Medicinal marijuana is on the way here in Pennsylvania, and legalized recreational pot may not be far behind.

In the latest CBS News poll, 61% of Americans believe that smoking weed for fun should be legalized. That’s the highest percentage ever recorded in this survey.

“If people can smoke cigarettes in public, why not marijuana?” said one woman.

“It would be good to kinda have something where people will come and actually spend money and it would be taxable and help the economy,” one man tells CBS3.

For State Senator Daylin Leach, the new figure is fresh ammo in his ongoing crusade to legalize pot in Pennsylvania.

Leach has, for the third time, introduced legislation in the Senate, but says that this poll could embolden many of the bill’s opponents who were worried about blow-back from their constituents.

“Hopefully this poll will go a long way toward convincing them that it is in fact safe to say what you believe, which is that it’s time to stop treating the responsible use of marijuana has a criminal justice issue,” said Leach.

“I came up in the 60’s. I never smoked it. I never liked it. And I don’t appreciate it,” said one woman.

Even some seasoned pot smokers  told Eyewitness News off camera yhat they don’t appreciate the idea of legalizing marijuana either  because it opens the door for big business to take over.

Last year, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Leach believes it is inevitable that recreational use will be legalized within the next few years.

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