New Poll: Americans See Drug Use as "Serious Problem," Split on Drug-War Questions

Mar 25 2016

New Poll: Americans See Drug Use as “Serious Problem,” Split on Drug-War Questions

A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found that most Americans are concerned about drug use in their neighborhoods and say more needs to be done to help problematic drug users and punish dealers. Most of them also support the loosening of marijuana laws.

Sixty-two percent of the 1,042 participants surveyed cited a “serious problem” with substance use in their communities, and nearly 70 percent said treatment programs needed to be more accessible. While over-prescribing as become a hot topic in media, participants were pretty much split on whether community efforts to educate doctors about the dangers of potentially addictive medications are adequate. About 60 percent said more could be done to crack down on drug dealers in their community.

A majority of those surveyed (around 60 percent) support marijuana legalization, with varying views on regulation. A quarter of those in favor support legalization only with a doctor’s prescription; a third support “legalization with no restrictions;” and 43 percent support caps on purchasing quantities.


That said, only 3 percent of respondents named drug use as a “top-of-the-mind” priority.

  • Dana Hall

    So much propaganda has been spread about the drug world, it seems like it will take forever to correct all the misinformation. It is very encouraging that the world is starting to view drug consumption as the health issue it is… now to lift the criminal penalties on it…

    But this… “About 60 percent said more could be done to crack down on drug dealers in their community.” …is very discouraging. More often than not, community drug dealers are simply users who are supporting their habit. (And NO, they don’t hang around schools trying to hook kids on drugs.) Our mass incarceration rates tell us that punishment does nothing to deter the black market. As soon as one gets locked up, another steps into their place. As long as there is a demand, so will there be a supply… it is basic economics.