Majorities of respondents in the three countries (Britain 56%, Canada 68%, United States 74%) welcome the concept of using alternative penalties—such as fines, probation or community service—rather than prison for non-violent offenders. At least seven-in-ten Britons (70%), Americans (74%) and Canadians (78%) believe personal marijuana use should be dealt with through alternative penalties.
…And yet I keep hearing people justifying Obama's medical marijuana crackdown on the grounds that voters will be impressed by his toughness. How much more evidence do we need that huge majorities support less punitive marijuana policies? It's time to bury the antiquated, idiotic myth that the public supports tough drug laws. It's false and it's been false for a very long time.
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