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.08/2009; 14(3-4):250-264.
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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.
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ABSTRACT: Background This study examines how online discussions on drug policy are formulating an oppositional cannabis discourse in an otherwise prohibitionist country like Sweden. The focus of the paper is to identify demands for an alternative cannabis policy as well as analysing how these demands are linked to governance. Methods The empirical material is 56 discussion-threads from the online message-board Flashback Forum that were active during the first eight months of 2012. Discourse theory was used to locate the discourse, and governmentality theory was used to locate the political belonging of the discourse. Results On Flashback Forum demands for a new cannabis policy are articulated in opposition to Swedish prohibitionist discourse. The oppositional discourse is constructed around the nodal points cannabis, harm, state and freedom that fill legalisation/decriminalisation/liberalisation with meaning. The nodal points are surrounded by policy demands that get their meaning through the particular nodal. These demands originate from neo-liberal and welfarist political rationalities. Neo-liberal and welfarist demands are mixed, and participants are simultaneously asking for state and individual approaches to handle the cannabis issue. Conclusion Swedish online discourse on cannabis widens the scope beyond the confines of drug policy to broader demands such as social justice, individual choice and increased welfare. These demands are not essentially linked together and many are politically contradictory. This is also significant for the discourse; it is not hegemonised by a political ideology. The discourse is negotiated between the neo-liberal version of an alternative policy demanding individual freedom, and the welfarist version demanding social responsibility. This implies the influence of the heritage from the social-democratic discourse, centred on state responsibility, which have been dominating Swedish politics in modern times. Consequently, this study refutes that the demand for a new cannabis policy is strictly neo-liberal.The International journal on drug policy 01/2014; · 2.54 Impact Factor