The public’s change in opinion on cannabis may have been influenced by the Government’s failure to control the distribution of cannabis by drugs, as 79% said they believed the government was “struggling” to cope with drugs. The majority (7/10 respondents) believe that prohibition has failed to reduce harm.
Half (50%) of respondents said they believed that regulating the sale of cannabis would provide more protection to young an vulnerable people, while only 23% said that regulating cannabis would cause “more harm” to society.
Discussing the results of the survey, Rob Wilson, CDPRG’s Chief Executive and a former Tory minister, said:
“This survey shows the government and politicians are significantly behind the public’s thinking.
“It illustrates the widening gulf between the stubborn, decades-old policies of blanket prohibition and the developing attitude of millions of voters willing to apply new approaches focused on improving harm reduction and healthcare outcomes.
“Illegal drugs are doing terrible damage to families and communities throughout the country. Thousands of people are dying, many hundreds of thousands of young people are taking drugs which they neither understand nor know what they contain. At the same time violent criminal gangs are making massive financial gains while preying on the weak and vulnerable.
“The findings of this survey demonstrate the urgent need for policymakers and government to start to rethink policy as part of an open, fully informed and evidence-based debate on the future of drugs policy.”