Essential Report with EMC’s Peter Lewis and Jackie Woods

Sep 19, 2012

Lewis and Woods talk through this week’s polling numbers: voting intention, leader attributes, drug laws in Australia, and more…


Attitudes to decriminalization or legalization

Sep 17, 2012

Q. Thinking about the issue of illegal drugs in Australia, which has one of the highest per capita illicit drug use in the world, please indicate which position is closer to your view:

Sample A (N= 468)

 

Sample B (N=501)

 

We should decriminalise all illegal drugs (including production and trafficking within Australia) to reduce the unregulated black market trade in these substances.

8%

We should legalise all illegal drugs (including production and trafficking within Australia) to reduce the unregulated black market trade in these substances.

7%

We should decriminalise small scale illegal drug use and possession, but maintain criminal prohibitions on production and trafficking.

29%

We should legalise small scale illegal drug use and possession, but maintain criminal prohibitions on production and trafficking.

30%

We should prohibit all activities related to illegal drugs in Australia, including production, trafficking, large and small-scale production and use.

53%

We should prohibit all activities related to illegal drugs in Australia, including production, trafficking, large and small-scale production and use.

57%

None of the above

10%

None of the above

7%

The table above shows the results of a randomly split sample on attitudes to drug law reform. The total sample of 968 respondents was randomly split into two and asked a series of slightly different questions (Sample A and Sample B).  The difference between the two questions was use of language: in Sample A, ‘decriminalisation’ was used and in Sample B, ‘legalisation’ was instead used in its place.

The results show no difference between the samples on the basis of language, as the variations in percentages can be attributed to margin of error for the sample size.

Overall, we see that the most dominant attitude to drug law reform amongst both samples is to ‘prohibit all activities related to illegal drugs in Australia, including production, trafficking, large and small-scale production and use’ (53% Sample A, 57% Sample B).

About a third of respondents in each sample believe that we should ‘decriminalise/legalise small scale illegal drug use and possession, but maintain criminal prohibitions on production and trafficking’ (29% Sample A, 30% Sample B).

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