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Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority Thinks U.S. Is Losing The Drug War


rasmussen pollRasmussen Poll Shows Huge Majority Thinks U.S. Losing the Drug War

By Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry, Marijuana Policy Project

A new poll released on Tuesday concluded that the vast majority of Americans are not impressed with the results of the nation’s anti-drug efforts. A full 82% of respondents answered “no” to the question: “Is the United States winning the war on drugs?” This is a significant increase from a poll released in Juneof this year, in which 66% of respondents characterized the drug war as a failure. Only 7% answered “yes” to the most recent poll question, while 12% were undecided.

As the Huffington Post reports, several other marijuana-related questions were asked in the same poll. One of these found that 45% supported legalizing marijuana, with 45% opposed and the remaining 10% undecided. This is consistent with two earlier polls released this year on the same question. Asked which was more dangerous, alcohol or marijuana, 51% of the latest poll’s respondents answered “alcohol,” while only 24% said “marijuana,” and 24% were undecided. Contrary to the traditional image of marijuana’s legalization being an issue of interest only to its users, 88 % said that they had not smoked marijuana even once in the past year, which is similar to the national average.

Thirty-four percent of respondents agreed that the government spends too much money on the war on drugs, and only 23% of all respondents claimed that the government should be spending even more. According to the New York Times, the enforcement costs alone have been $20 to $25 billion per year over the past decade.

In the wake of the recent successful ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington to legalize the marijuana industry, as well as Massachusetts becoming the 18th state with an effective medical marijuana law, one more question from the poll is worth noting. A full 60% said that marijuana laws should be left to the states, while only 27% said that the federal government should determine the marijuana laws in any particular state. As MPP’s Steve Fox noted yesterday in the Chicago Sun-Times, the federal government’s authority to prohibit marijuana has always been highly questionable on constitutional grounds.

The survey of 1,000 adults nationwide was conducted on November 9-10, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. The exact wording of all of the questions in the poll can be found here, and information on methodology can be found here.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project


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Johnny Green


  1. man marijuana grows natural just like tobacco so why not legalize marijuana it makes no sense come on now now coke and the other man made drugs that’s a different ball game………..legalize here in TEXAS

  2. Matthew Cunningham on

    Today’s DEA is not your Fathers DEA, its now basically a Military Branch working through out the world now with several bases in Central and South America soon to be in several African country’s . Its been operating in Afghanistan for years together with other branch of the military. This I fear will be the new focus as the war in Afghanistan tones down. The War and Prohibition Profiteers will now try to cash in on the Drug War both home and abroad . Even the recent Court of appeals the American Safe Access vs DEA stances on scheduling #1 same as Heroin with no benefit base on today’s science it will be had for them defend maintaining scheduling # 1. They will stone wall with every dirty evil trick in the book because they know that up to 80% of their mission is Marijuana. With out Marijuana there cushy job that they have based on Lies and milked from History most golden cash cow will end. We now get stuck with their pensions.

  3. Since the war on drugs started the DEA has become the largest law enforcement agency on the planet. They are not only enforcement agents but also advisors. They implement U.S. drug policy in other nations bound by treaties via trade agreements. They funnel tax dollars to other countries (Mexico, Columbia, etc) in the form of weapons, militarized uniforms and helicopters. They supply intelligence to foreign nations and also provide direction (ride alongs) during raids.

    U.S.A. has routinely used wars to gain a political foothold into foreign nations (a form of colonialism) and establishing bases. The drug war has given them the same ability to gain and share intelligence with countries that are not enough of a threat to start a war with, allowing them the ability to shape and form policy in favor of U.S. interests.

    The drug war was never about drugs, it has always been about control. Nixon started the drug war to control student dissent against the Vietnam war. If you want to understand what the drug war has become in the U.S. watch the documentary “The House I Live In” – http://www.thehouseilivein.org

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