Britons strongly support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, a snap Sky Data poll suggests.
The survey found 72% back legalization for medical use, with just 15% opposed. The remainder did not know or did not express a preference.
But nearly half of the 1,001 people surveyed oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Sky Data found 46% were opposed, with just 37% in favor. The remaining 17% did not express a preference or did not know.
People between 18 and 34 were the most likely to support legalization, with 51% backing the change.
Among the over-55s support was lowest, with just 24% supporting full legalization.
The research follows calls from senior Liberal Democrats, and other Labour and Tory figures, that the UK should follow the lead of the US and legalize the drug.
Eight US states have changed the law, four deciding to do so in this month’s election, and several more allow its use for medical reasons.
Monday’s report, by the Adam Smith Institute and Volteface, claims legalization could net the Treasury more than £1bn a year in tax revenue.
It also says the number of prisoners in jail for drugs offenses would drop, saving the taxpayer millions.
The primary reason, the MPs say, is that UK drugs laws have failed.
Former deputy PM Nick Clegg said: “British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world.
“Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation.
“Now is the time for ministers to start writing the rules.”
Former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Lilley said: “It is time we legalized marijuana . Currently cannabis can only be obtained from illegal gangs who also push hard drugs.
“So we are driving soft drugs users into the arms of hard drugs pushers.”
Labour MP Paul Flynn added: “The UK’s 45 years of harsh prohibition has multiplied use and harm.
“A legal market would destroy the drug’s attraction as forbidden fruit and encourage users to ingest marijuana , of known strength and quality, in ways that will the avoid deadly dangers of smoking.”