A new poll from Rasmussen finds the American people nearly evenly divided on whether or not to legalize and tax marijuana to help the government bring in new revenue.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of American Adults say the federal government should legalize and tax marijuana for that purpose, but 45% disagree. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure if it’s the right approach to generate more revenue for the government. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In May 2009, 41% of voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana, but 49% of voters opposed it. There’s been a similar divide over just the legalization of the drug.

The results of this poll are very similar to a Pew poll from earlier this month that also found those opposed to legalizing cannabis barely outnumber those in support.

The general trend in both polls is that Americans have been steadily becoming more open to the idea of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. It is very likely that before the end of the decade, all major national polling will find a majority of Americans in support of legalization.