These Are the Drugs the British Public Want to See Legalised

As well as the ones they definitely want to remain illegal.

by Tom Usher
25 January 2016, 12:28pm

(Photo by Michael Segalov)

READ: How the Government's Legal High Ban Will Directly Harm Users and Help Dealers

In the UK, the traditional approach to drug policy is "BAN ALL DRUGS AND PEOPLE WILL DEFINITELY STOP TAKING THEM".

Why this is tradition is unclear, because the logic is in no way sound: cocaine was banned in the UK in 1920, yet almost one in ten of all British 16 to 59-year-olds have used cocaine at least once.

Another option would be the legalisation of specific substances, with guidelines based on actual research and evidence. But what would the general public think of this? Do we as a nation agree with David Cameron's claim that the War on Drugs is working perfectly fine, despite a Home Office report stating the exact opposite? Or could we consider the potential positives of regulation and taxation – like, for instance, a legal cannabis market leading to a multi-billion boon for the UK economy?

According to a new YouGov survey that covered a range of drugs with varying purposes – from recreational types like weed and cocaine, to the performance-enhancing steroids and sex-based drugs like poppers – a lot of us still err towards the side of the Prime Minister.

The widely-used cannabis had the most support from pro-reform respondents, with 39 percent of those surveyed saying it should be legalised. Poppers was next, at 28 percent, followed by cocaine and steroids, which both scored 15 percent of the vote in favour of legalisation. Heroin even got a look in, with 13 percent of respondents saying it should be legalised.

Broadly, it seems the country is roughly split on what to think, with 48 percent of respondents saying that no drugs should be legalised at all, and 11 percent answering with a "not sure".