Poll Finds Few Think We're Winning War on Drugs

Four decades after President Richard Nixon ushered in the modern war on drugs, fewer than one out of 20 Americans think it is being won, according to a new poll. A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Sunday found that only 4% of respondents believe that the US is "winning" the war on drugs. Some 82% said it is "losing."

"Americans continue to overwhelmingly believe that the so-called war on drugs is failing, but they are more divided on how much the United States should be spending on it," Rasmussen concluded.

While agreement that the drug war is a failure is at near consensus levels, the Rasmussen poll also revealed a public deeply divided over what to do about it. More than half (55%) think there are too many people in prison, and nearly as many (51%) agree with Attorney General Holder's call to reduce the prisoner load by reducing reliance on mandatory minimum sentencing. At the same time, 54% said illegal drug use is primarily a criminal justice problem, not a public health problem.

The poll also showed Americans split nearly evenly on marijuana legalization, with 44% approving of it and 42% disapproving. The numbers supporting legalization are lower than most recent polls, where in the past year support has consistently climbed above 50%, but still show more Americans supporting legalization than opposing it.

The survey was conducted Aug.12-13, and involved interviews with 1,000 American adults, and has a margin-of-error of plus/minus 3.1%.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Bad sample?

While just about anyone with eyes and a brain can see that the war on drugs is a total failure.I find it difficult to believe that only 44 %are in favor of legalisation.The 42% opposed isn't as much of a stretch but still seems off the mark from recent polls.If only 4% think the drug war is working,who is behind the continuation and ever increasing budgets?Even this higher than the usual support for prison instead of health care group of people don't think the drug war is working.Just exactly who is behind continuing to throw scarce money down the drug war toilet?

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