Americans Decry War on Drugs, Support Legalizing Marijuana

Less than one-in-ten respondents would legalize other drugs, such as heroin, crack or “crystal meth”.

Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the “War on Drugs” has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the “War on Drugs” has not been fruitful.

Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

In four nationwide surveys conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on the topic of marijuana legalization since 2009, support has always surpassed the 50 per cent mark in the United States, and opposition has not reached 45 per cent.

As has been the case in previous surveys, the enthusiasm for legalizing other drugs in the United States remains low. Only 10 per cent of respondents would consent to making ecstasy readily available, and less than one-in-ten would legalize powder cocaine (9%), heroin (8%), crack cocaine (8%) and methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (7%).

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

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