Poll: Only 10 Percent of Americans Think the Drug War Is a Success, 66 Percent Think It's a Failure


Today brings more evidence of a large shift in public opinion regarding drug policy, this time from AngusReid Public Opinion. The polling firm reports that "two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the 'War on Drugs' has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country."

More from the poll, which was conducted online

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country'sdrug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the "War on Drugs"—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the "War on Drugs" has not been fruitful. 

Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

In four nationwide surveys conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on the topic of marijuana legalization since 2009, support has always surpassed the 50 per cent mark in the United States, and opposition has not reached 45 per cent. 

The 52 percent claim for marijuana legalization tracks pretty closely with recent polls by Gallup, which put legalization support at 50 percent, and Rasmussen, which put it at 56 percent. Those polls are below:

Support for Pot Legalization Crosses 50 Percent, With 56 Percent of Americans Now In Favor of Treating it Like Booze 

Poll: 74 Percent of Americans, Including 67 Percent of Republicans, Want Obama to End Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use

NEXT: R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

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  1. The War on Drugs will never end because it will put too many LEOs and other ‘public servant’ leeches out of work.

    1. Yep.

      Politicians do not subscribe to the destructive growth theory. Especially when the destruction will all happen in government ranks.

  2. any time govt declares “war” on something, seems the only result is a worsening of the problem that the war was designed to solve. I’ll hang on to CO status for politician-driven campaigns.

    1. Especially when it’s a war on a noun. Wait, Japan is a noun, okay, especially when it’s not a proper noun.

    2. For a few years in the middle of the Twentieth century we were at war with Japan.

  3. only 10% of Americans think that the drug war is a success, 66% think that it’s a failure

    And our esteemed elected representatives interpretation?

    Well, then by all means, continue! NO! Expand!!!

    1. Obviously we need to devote more time and effort (read: your money) to the war on DRUGZ!!!111one

      1. Yes, this poll is a clear sign that the people do not know what is good for them. So we must step up our good efforts to re-educate the sheeples, errr… I mean the good, but clearly misguided, people of this great land who need some more protecting

        1. Yes…must double down. Need mo’ money.

          1. Well, if only you would start paying your fair share!

            1. Hey, those ivory and gold framed monicles don’t pay for themselves.

  4. 66 percent of commenters think your alt-text is a failure. Only 10 percent think it’s not an insult.

  5. Moral of the story? A majority of Americans don’t know what’s good for them.

    I’m sure that that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with more laws and more police.

    1. Nanny Bloomturd for POTUS!

  6. Proof once again that to the statist intentions matter much more than results.

  7. This poll isn’t as encouraging as it might seem at first glance. That’s quite a contradiction that while 66% think of the WoD as a failure, 68% think “that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.” People might realize the current policy is a disaster, but that second number doesn’t exactly bode well for increased individual liberty as the solution.

    Also it is hard to envision an “online survey” with a “representative sample”. It seems like that kind of thing lends itself heavily toward self-selection.

    1. ^THIS^

  8. If the War on drugs was a business and someone was actually held accountable, they would have shut it down, 40 years ago.

    1. That could be said of probably 90% of what the government does.

      1. And to MSNBC, that just proves that 90% of what the government does is too important to be left to the private sector.

  9. When you combine this:

    68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

    With this:

    Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”?a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade?has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure.

    what you wind up with is an awful lot of people who think the WOD is a failure because we just haven’t been hitting it hard enough. Drones! APCs! Random stops! Checkpoints! SWAT raids! MUST HAVE MOAR!!!

    1. “what you wind up with is an awful lot of people who think the WOD is a failure because we just haven’t been hitting it hard enough”

      Yeah, that was my point. What these numbers tell me is that a strong majority still believes that all those OTHER people are “abusing” drugs and it “affects” the WHOLE country. So we need to start drug testing kids who enroll in school, or people who renew their driver’s licenses, or make everyone take a “vaccine” that makes it impossible to get high. That sentence doesn’t come across as a call to leave peaceful people alone — far from it.

  10. The only thing it has achieved is to put huge numbers of black men in prison.

    1. Incarcerating people = helping people don’t ya know.

  11. So, Gary Johnson will roll to victory in November?

    Despite receiving fewer votes than Roseanne Barr did yesterday in California?


  12. I’d really like to see a DEA agent sitting on some steps, lamenting democracy, and crying.

    1. With his dead dog on his lap.

    2. I’d like to see all of them doing it.

  13. All you need to know:

    Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

    This rule applies to most issues of liberty.

    1. ^^THIS. Repeal the 20th amendmend NOW! (pun intended)

      1. And the 15th too! Blacks vote for Democrats.

        (I hope your comment is no more serious than mine (which is not at all, for anyone wondering). One tough thing about libertarianism is that you have to care about the freedom and rights of people who are opposed to freedom and rights.).

        1. We can give women the vote once we eliminate the value of voting in general by limiting government again.

    2. What we need is some sort of libertarian feminism where women empower themselves by making all of society more free.

      1. Sooo…….. libertarianism then. You know, without the feminism.

  14. What I really want to know is what exactly are the 10%’s criteria for success?

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