Attitudes towards drug legalization among drug users.
ABSTRACT Research shows that support for legalization of drugs varies significantly among different sociodemographic and political groups. Yet there is little research examining the degree of support for legalization of drugs among drug users. This paper examines how frequency and type of drug use affect the support for legalization of drugs after adjusting for the effects of political affiliation and sociodemographic characteristics. A sample of 188 drug users and non-drug users were asked whether they would support the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Respondents reported their use of marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin, speedball, and/or methamphetamines during the previous 30 days. Support for legalization of drugs was analyzed by estimating three separate logistic regressions. The results showed that the support for the legalization of drugs depended on the definition of "drug user" and the type of drug. In general, however, the results showed that marijuana users were more likely to support legalizing marijuana, but they were less likely to support the legalization of cocaine and heroin. On the other hand, users of crack, cocaine, heroin, speedball, and/or methamphetamines were more likely to support legalizing all drugs including cocaine and heroin.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Individual experience with substance use is considered as one of the principal factors influencing risk perception and attitudes of young people towards substance use. The aim of this article is to show the relationship between self‐reported prevalence and the subjectively perceived risks of substance use, both for individuals and at the country level. Methodology: The relationships were analysed on a sample of students participating in the ESPAD survey in eight European countries. The sample of 22,899 students was divided into five groups: abstainers (9.3%), experimental alcohol consumers (52.0%), regular alcohol consumers (14.2%), experimental drug users (12.3%), and regular drug users (12.2%). Findings: Significant differences were observed in the risk perception of use of selected substances among five types of users. The percentage of students perceiving moderate or great risks of substance use tends to fall across the groups with increasing prevalence of more risky patterns of substance use. Highest perceived risks of alcohol and illicit drugs use were found among abstainers and experimental alcohol consumers, while both experimental and regular drug users tend to perceive lower risks. Regular alcohol consumers perceive relatively high risks of illicit drug use, but they under‐estimate the risks of alcohol consumption. Country differences were observed in the level of perceived risks. These differences correspond to a different distribution of types of users and to the overall prevalence of substance use in individual countries.Journal of Substance Use 08/2009; 14(3-4):250-264. DOI:10.1080/14659890802668797 · 0.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Americans have long held a variety of opinions when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. While previous research has mostly focused on use rates and behavior, the purpose of this examination is to specifically analyze people's attitudes towards marijuana legalization. Of particular importance was (1) the extent to which attitudes towards marijuana legalization have changed over the past four decades and (2) how the social factors often associated with marijuana legalization attitudes have changed over the same period. Results indicate that over one-third of Americans now believe marijuana should be made legal. These pro-legalization attitudes are at their highest levels in four decades. Being younger, more educated, and liberal have been associated with these positive attitudes towards marijuana legalization. Yet age and education has become slightly less significant. Greater church attendance has remained associated with negative attitudes. While being white once correlated with anti-legalization attitudes, it is now positively associated with marijuana legalization attitudes. Finally, this study describes the remaining findings and thoughts.
Article: Drug Views[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Substance abuse is a significant social problem and political issue. Students at a Midwestern university were surveyed on their drug views. The findings suggest that race is a statistically significant factor on students' views toward drugs. White students were more likely than non-Whites to view drugs as a pressing social issue, to consider drug use as a character weakness, and to support a punitive response to drug use. In contrast, non-Whites were more likely than Whites to view drug abuse as an illness, to support treatment as a response, to be tolerant of marijuana use, and to support legalization of marijuana. Both groups of students considered alcohol a dangerous drug. Differences associated with race remained statistically significant in multivariate analysis after controlling for age, academic standing, political affiliation, and religiosity.Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 07/2006; 4(1-2):93-111. DOI:10.1300/J222v04n01_04