Three out of four Americans believe we are losing the war on drugs and support changing federal law to allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana, according to the findings of a nationwide poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The findings are consistent with previous surveys demonstrating strong public support for medical marijuana, and a growing disapproval for current anti-drug strategies.
Though a majority of Americans voiced their discontent with present drug policy, most seemed reluctant to try alternative strategies such as abolishing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. However, a majority did support treating drug use as a health issue rather than as a criminal offense.
The Pew findings reinforce previous data indicating that Americans view the medical and recreational use of marijuana as separate issues. While 73 percent of respondents said they support legal access to medical marijuana, just under half said that small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized for recreational use, a figure slightly higher than reported in previous years.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.