America’s New Drug Policy Landscape

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. poncho

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    Mar 30, 2004
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    Two-Thirds Favor Treatment, Not Jail, for Use of Heroin, Cocaine

    The public appears ready for a truce in the long-running war on drugs. A national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Just 26% think the government’s focus should be on prosecuting users of such hard drugs.

    Support for a treatment-based approach to illegal drug use spans nearly all demographic groups. And while Republicans are less supportive of the treatment option than are Democrats or independents, about half of Republicans (51%) say the government should focus more on treatment than prosecution in dealing with illegal drug users.

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    Americans finally understand that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol

    April 2 at 2:34 pm

    A new Pew survey out today provides yet another illustration of the failure of America's drug war. By a nearly five-to-one margin, Americans agree that alcohol is worse for you than marijuana. However you slice the data up demographically, majorities say the same thing.

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    On the relative dangers of marijuana and alcohol, the public is now in line with what medical researchers have been saying for years. A 2010 study in the journal Lancet, for instance, graded common drugs on sixteen criteria relating to how harmful the drugs were to users, and how harmful they were to society overall. On both measures - harm to self and harm to users - marijuana scored significantly lower than alcohol.

    In fact, alcohol was the most dangerous of all the drugs studied, vastly more dangerous than other drugs in terms of harm to society, and behind only meth, crack and heroin when it came to harm to users.

    Other topline findings from the Pew survey: significant majorities approve of marijuana legalization, say that mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes are a bad idea, and want the federal government to focus more on providing treatment to drug users, rather than prosecuting them.

    In short, it's hard to think of another arena in which federal policy is more at odds with public opinion and scientific consensus. The Pew survey suggests that in the upcoming national elections in 2014 and 2016, there's a real opportunity for candidates to distinguish themselves by taking up these issues.
    #1 poncho, Apr 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2014

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