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A new statewide poll shows voters evenly divided on the question of legalizing marijuana as the state Legislature takes up the question next week.

The Elway Research poll of 411 randomly selected voters found 48 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed to legalization, which is likely headed to the November 2012 ballot in the form of Initiative 502. The margin of error is 5 percentage points.

The initiative, run by a campaign called New Approach Washington, heads to the Legislature first, but will be on the presidential ballot unless lawmakers approve it.

The support softened from an Elway poll in July, when 54 percent, asked a more general question about marijuana legalization, expressed support.

More about the marijuana issue on our Politics Northwest blog.