October 2, 2019 9:15AM

Poll: 55% of Americans Favor Decriminalizing Drugs

Americans favor decriminalizing drug offenses

The Cato 2019 Welfare, Work, and Wealth National Survey finds that a majority, 55%, of Americans favor “recategorizing drug offenses from felonies to civil offenses” such that they “would be treated like minor traffic violations rather than crimes.” Forty‐​four percent (44%) oppose treating drug offenses like traffic tickets.

Full survey results and report found here.

Majorities of Democrats (69%) and independents (54%) support decriminalizing drug offenses. However, most Republicans (59%) oppose this change while 40% favor.

This partisan gap is consistent with Gallup polling that has found Democrats and independents are more supportive than Republicans of legalizing certain types of drugs. For instance, Gallup found Democrats (75%) and independents (71%) are about 20 points more likely than Republicans (53%) to support legalizing marijuana.

Democrats and Independents Support Decriminalizing Drug Offenses; Republicans Oppose

Read more of the survey report here.

The Cato Institute 2019 Welfare, Work, and Wealth Survey was designed and conducted by the Cato Institute in collaboration with YouGov. YouGov collected responses online March 7 to 13, 2019 from a representative national sample of 1,700 Americans 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.2 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

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