Attitudes towards drug legalization among drug users.

Affiliated Systems Corporation, Houston, TX 77027, USA.
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (Impact Factor: 1.55). 02/2002; 28(1):91-108. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-120001283
Source: PubMed

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: 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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