Three quarters (72%) say ‘war on drugs’ is not working, whilst only one in ten (11%) say it is working, according to a new poll from Savanta.
The poll, released to coincide with 420, finds that over four in five (83%) over 55s say the ‘war on drugs’ is not working, in addition to 77% of Conservative voters.
The poll also finds that half (47%) of Brits support the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use, including three in five (60%) of those aged 18-34 years old. Three in ten (29%) oppose the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use, including two in five (41%) of those aged 55+.
The data indicates a trend that younger adults are more likely to have a more liberal attitude to drug policy, with older voters more likely to adopt a more conservative view. Just one in ten (12%) 18-24 year olds say they oppose the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use, while half (47%) of those aged 65+ oppose. Conversely, three in ten (30%) of those aged 65+ support legalisation, with support being twice as high (61%) among the youngest in the sample (61%, 18-24).
The leaders of both Labour and the Conservatives have said that they oppose the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use, meaning smaller opposition parties such as the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are the only political parties standing on a platform of legalisation.
Over four in ten (44%) of those aged 18-34 say they would be more likely to vote for a political party if they stood on a platform of marijuana legalisation, while only one in eight (12%) of those aged 55+ say the same. Four in ten (40%) of those aged 55+ say they would be less likely to vote for a political party if they stood on a platform of marijuana legalisation, despite four in five (83%) of those aged 55+ saying the ‘war on drugs’ is not working.
Away from marijuana, the government has introduced plans to make nitrous oxide illegal in the UK, in an effort to curb anti-social behaviour. Half (47%) say making nitrous oxide illegal is not likely to reduce anti-social behaviour, whilst four in ten (41%) it is likely to have the desired impact.
Despite half saying it is not likely to reduce anti-social behaviour, six in ten (59%) say the drug is linked with anti-social behaviour, including two thirds (67%) of those aged 55+. A fifth (20%) say nitrous oxide is not linked with anti-social behaviour, including a third (32%) of those aged 18-34 years old.
And while the government attempts to crackdown on anti-social behaviour, only a quarter (27%) say the Conservatives are best placed to tackle the issue, compared to 37% who say Labour. Two in five (37%) don’t know which party is best suited to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said, “With the so-called ‘war on drugs’ seemingly never likely to end, given that the vast majority of Britons believe it to not be working, it’s surprising that the government and opposition seem to be taking such a hard-line approach.
“While both parties want to be seen as a trusted party of law and order, something that’s particularly important for the Labour Party as it tries to wrestle votes off the Tories from conservative middle-England, some of their recent stances seemingly achieve little except for trying to appear tough without following the public mood.”
“There is, of course, a distinct generational divide on drug liberalisation, and perhaps therein lies the problem for both parties, who know that more conservative older adults, rather than the more liberal young, turn up at the ballot box. However, to what extent even older voters care about the recent government clampdown on laughing gas is debatable, and therefore the motivation for such a policy seems to be much more calculated than a genuine crackdown on anti-social behaviour.”