Eight in 10 Americans believe medical marijuana should be legal, a jump from just more than half of Americans in 1997, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. The wave of support comes as the East Coast starts to catch up with California and other Western states in approving medical marijuana. (New Jersey's legislature has already approved the concept, and Washington, D.C. is working on a similar measure).

Nearly half of all Americans — 46 percent — approve of full legalization that would allow for small amounts of marijuana for almost anyone, not just patients. That number has nearly doubled since the 1990s, according to the Post. Strangely, less people in Western states would allow marijuana for any patient (as apposed to the seriously or terminally ill).

Perhaps we've learned something about letting medical marijuana flow nearly unrestricted, as it has here in this pot-shop capital of Los Angeles, which has 545 medical marijuana outlets with little control about where the weed comes from or who is making a profit.

America, you might support medical marijuana and, frankly, we do too, but don't do as Los Angeles has done. This city has virtually opened its doors to shady dealers who work under a medicinal pose. Get pot to the people who need it, not cash to the thugs who don't.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.