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UK - New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminalised

Discussion in 'Politics' started by corvardus, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. corvardus

    corvardus Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    May 12, 2008
    40 y/o from U.K.
    New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminalised, and 67% want a comprehensive review of our approach to drugs

    A new poll by Ipsos MORI, commissioned by Transform Drug Policy Foundation, shows that over half of the public (53%) support cannabis legalisation (legal regulation of production and supply) or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis. Only 1 in 7 support heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. In addition, the survey shows that around two thirds (67%) support a comprehensive independent review of all the possible policy options (from legal market regulation to tougher enforcement) for controlling drugs.

    The findings indicate that 45% of mid-market newspaper readers (including Daily Mail and Express readers) support cannabis legalisation (legal regulation of production and supply) or decriminalisation of possession of cannabis, with less than one in five (17%) supporting heavier penalties and more being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences. For tabloid readers these figures are 47% and 20%. Around 65% of mid-market newspaper readers and 66% of tabloid readers support a full review of all drug policy options.

    Additional survey findings include:

    • 53% of the public support legal regulation or decriminalisation of cannabis - 50% of Conservative supporters and 55% of Labour supporters also support these options, as do 46% of Daily Mail readers
    • Only 14% of the public (and 17% of Daily Mail readers) support tougher enforcement and heavier penalties for cannabis offences
    • 67% want a comprehensive review of all policy options. 70% of Conservative supporters and 69% of Labour supporters also feel this way, as do 61% of Daily Mail readers
    • When outcomes from Portugal were briefly described, almost 40% of the public support the Portuguese-style decriminalisation of small quantities of drugs for personal possession

    A spokesperson for Transform said: “These results show just how far ahead of politicians the public are. Whilst Labour and Conservative politicians shy away from the debate on drugs, around half of their supporters want to see legal regulation of cannabis production and supply or decriminalisation of cannabis possession, and a significant majority want a comprehensive review of our approach to drugs – including consideration of legal regulation. The poll demonstrates that even amongst Daily Mail readers, almost half support less punitive approaches to cannabis, and a majority back an independent review of all options, which may come as a surprise to the paper’s editors.

    “Politicians have repeated their ‘tough on drugs’ propaganda for so long that they assume the public are more fearful of change than they really are. In fact the world has changed, and the public are far more progressive than was thought, right across the political spectrum. At the very least the government should heed long standing and growing calls for a review of all policy options, including legal regulation. And as a matter of urgency the coalition should engage in experiments in the Portuguese style decriminalisation of possession of drugs for personal use. Now is the time for the heads of all parties to show the leadership citizens surely deserve.”

    1) http://transform-drugs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/new-ipsos-mori-poll-shows-53-of-gb.html
    2) http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchp...ve/3134/Public-attitudes-to-drugs-policy.aspx

    Tuesday, 19th February, 2013
    Transform Drug Policy Foundation

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  2. Phenoxide

    Phenoxide Super Moderator Staff Member

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 11, 2009
    from United States
    Re: New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminali

    I like Transform and what they aim to acheive but this is some incredibly selective use of statistics to support their pre-defined position. It's no coincidence that the survey was called the 'drug legalisation omnibus survey' rather than something neutral stance. The funny thing is despite the poll being given that title and this article suggesting that those polled favor legalisation, the poll itself doesn't mention legalisation even once, only decriminalisation. Transform are well aware of the significant differences between those two definitions so that's disappointing spin on their part.

    They neglect to mention that 60% of those polled by MORI felt that drug possession should remain illegal, and that this was largely unaffected by age or social grade.

    With regard to cannabis, only 12% of those polled actually stated they were in favor of outright decriminalisation, which is around half the number that were in favor of tougher criminal sanctions. Those from lower social grades were more likely to be in favor of tougher sanctions, no doubt because the impact of drug-related crime on their communities is higher. A majority of the cited 53% figure wanted decriminalisation accompanied by tight regulation over the possession and sale of cannabis, but no precise definition of what would constitute 'tight regulation' is given, so that's left to the individual interpretation of participants. The poll was somewhat leading in that cannabis was the only drug that they asked about individually. Why not also ask about the legal status of heroin and cocaine? How about alcohol and tobacco?

    Anyway the summary of MORI data is attached.

    Attached Files:

  3. Isodimorphism

    Isodimorphism Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Nov 13, 2012
    from england
    Re: New Ipsos MORI poll shows 53% of GB public want cannabis legalised or decriminali

    Wait, did we both look at the same survey?

    The Transform blog page gives details (not present on the published results .pdf) of the options that were given to respondents for the question about cannabis, and A-C are fairly well-defined (considering that the survey is aimed at laymen) legalisation options and together had 41% support:

    There were certainly some aspects of the survey that showed bias and it's notable that Transform only publicised the results of two of the questions on the survey, but I don't think all of your criticisms are fair. Please tell me if I'm missing something here.

    Interestingly, they may actually have understated some of their results. 12% of respondents had either never heard of cannabis or didn't know what scenario they wanted, so only 35% of respondents wanted the possession of cannabis to remain illegal. Fewer than those in favour of some degree of outright legalisation of possession, production and sale.