Most British people want cannabis legalised or decriminalised and two thirds want a comprehensive review of drugs policy, according to a new poll by Ipsos MORI.
Over half the public (53%) support the legalisation or decriminalisation of the possession of cannabis, and only 1 in 7 believe in tougher penalties and more money being spent on enforcement for cannabis offences.
Interestingly the survey, which sampled 946 adults between January 25 and February 5, also looked at attitudes to drugs based on newspaper readership and found some surprising results.
It found that 45% of mid-market newspaper readers (including readers of the Daily Mail and the Express) support the legalisation of cannabis, and just one in five (17%) support heavier penalties and more money spent on enforcement.
Among tabloid readers the figures were 47% and 20% respectively.
According to the data, 61% of Daily Mail readers want a full review of drug policy.
Surprisingly perhaps, 70% of Conservative supporters compared to 69% of Labour supporters believe a full review of all the drug policy options is required.
A spokesperson from drugs think tank Transform said the results show how far ahead of politicians the public are.
“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.