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

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 June of 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.

13 thoughts on “Rasmussen Poll Shows Huge Majority Thinks U.S. Losing the Drug War”

  1. Keeping marijuana illegal and a schedule 1 drug was Richard Nixon’s mandate, prior to his resignation post “Watergate”. It has been been a huge moneymaker for the criminal justice system in total. (That would include law enforcement, incarceration, courts, free prison “slave labor”, drug courts, and court mandated and mostly outdated federally funded treatment programs.) Interestingly enough, it has also been a big moneymaker for the user/dealer, street drugs dealer, organized crime and the drug cartels. It is not hard to see that the criminal justice system sending marijuana violators to jail and prison and then to treatment programs that do not work are operating “hand-in-glove” with street dealers, organized crime and the big international drug cartels in what amounts to one big “Money-go-Round”. There is scant science that shows marijuana to be any sort of “gateway drug” and very weak and unreliable science that shows marijuana to be addictive in any true sense of genetic based drug addiction. Our government’s marijuana laws lie when they state that marijuana is addictive. The DARE program has prompted far too many youth to just give some drug a “try”. Most kids consider it to be either a big bore or another federal joke that wastes their time. My experience with mood altering chemicals spans over half a century. My professional academic studies and clinical work in the field for over a quarter century stand to validate marijuana use as I see it. There are always going to be those who, like a bunch of Lemmings, will follow the leader over the cliff in believing the false statement that marijuana is addictive or that it is worse than alcohol consumption. The truth is that it has been such a big moneymaker for so many, they do not want to have it legalized, taxed and regulated by any state in the Union. Money, Power, and Greed, the three evils have ruled up until now. Due to marijuana being a schedule 1 drug, lives and careers have been ruined and families made destitute. Making a transition from illegal to legal, taxed and regulated by all of the states will save and make right at a trillion dollars per year. That is money that is certainly needed at this point in American history. Legalize, tax and regulate marijuana is the sensible way to go, as I see it.

  2. according to Nate Silver’s list at fivethirtyeight.com, Rasmussen was one of the least accurate pollsters in the 2012 election. He has criticized Rasmussen’s election coverage before.

    Maybe Rasmussen does a better job with simple opinion polling

  3. There is a lot of talk about cutting entitlements. Why not cut entitlements to the DEA. 82% of Americans say they are losing the war on drugs.
    Win the war just like the Dept of Justice did against alcohol prohibition and legalize the use, tax it and stop wasting tax payers dollars.
    20 to 25 billion dollars wasted every year over the last 10 years is rediculous. Seriously?
    Marijuana is not addictive if you ask someone who actually used it and quit. It is not that hard.
    But the two sin tax drugs that are addictive are legal. Alcoholics know it is not easy to give up drinking. Cigerette smoking is extremely hard to quit. Both have been proved beyound a reasonable doubt that they kill hundreds of thousands every year. Marijuana has never been proved by any real scientist or doctor to kill anyone.
    Alcohol poisioning is a fact.
    No one has ever oded on Pot.
    Get real. Solve the deficit. Tax marijuana and save money that would be wasted on a lost war.

  4. Reiterating what Dan Gray said: “It has been a huge moneymaker for the Criminal Justice System.” This is precisely why the Federal Government will do everything in their power to prevent legalization. Additionally, the war on drugs has been the lynchpin in increasing the power of the state (Feds) to intrude on our personal lives through wiretaps, tapping into our computer and cell phone conversations, property seizures and unconstitutional search and seizure. This is why the only opportunity we have of ending this preposterous “War on Drugs” (should be renamed War on Free Men ) is for the states to take back their constitutional authority to determine states rights. Another thing, contradicting Dan, is that Mariijuana is a Gateway drug” only in so much that you purchase the hard drugs from the very same dealer as the other, harder drugs. A great number of the street dealers would simply go out of business. This would make hard drugs much more difficult to obtain.

  5. I have a solution. Find some honest people that don’t use drugs and give them the money and means to buy all the drugs from the farmers, cutting out all the middle men and gangs. Then just destroy them. Don’t put them in evidence, don’t test them, just buy them and destroy them! Then take all the money you save and give people with habits good effective treatment. You’ll save lives, cut way down on illegal drug supplies, and let some poor farmers earn a living.

  6. Drug prohibition is based on 19th century conservative religious dogma – not medical or social science. As this country becomes less Religious, this fact will become better known. Polls are already showing this trend.

  7. OFFICE VISITS $ 300.00 for ten minutes medicine worst that ever. Doctors are always in a SCAM. Billionaires in 3 years.

  8. i’m all for legalizing pot,but you have to pass a drug test to get a job,so you should have to pass one to get free everything the gov. offers and if legal that may force these leaches to get a job!!!the “minority”lol is sucking us working class dry!!!!!!!!!!!pissed in louisiana

  9. ALCOHOL IS THE GATEWAY DRUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. This is a battle against misinformation. As people begin to understand the science and the medical benefits of cannabis, opinions begin to change. While at the same time, people are starting to see that our drug policy has been a complete failure and has had great human consequences. Case in point – Chris Williams of Montana.

    Through my website, http://www.chronic-relief.com, our primary objective is to educate people about the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. Maybe if we can continue to talk with each other based in fact, we can not only change opinions, but change laws as well. Thank you MPP for all do and have done.

  11. Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans or any of it’s surrounding areas? Too many times, I have seen police gather around someone smoking a joint and starting to arrest them, but are called away to break up multiple vicious fights between drunk people causing bodily damage to each other over a simple thing as a pair of beads. All the while, the person who was smoking the pot are usually staying to themselves or with family and friends and not harming anyone!! The pot smoker goes on enjoying the actractions while the drunk, violent people go to jail . Dosen’t that tell you something?

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