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46% of Tory members want a proper war on drugs; 39% want some form of decriminalisation

By Tim Montgomerie
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ConHome recently hosted a debate on drug legalisation. It was kicked off by this pro-reform article from Bruce Anderson. The case against legalisation was then made by Christian Guy.

The comments on both threads were heavily in favour of Bruce Anderson's position.

I tested the overall view of Tory members in the latest ConservativeHome survey and these are the results:

  1. The war on ALL drugs is lost and we should decriminalise ALL drugs and treat them as we treat alcohol: 20%
  2. The war on SOFT drugs is lost and we should decriminalise SOFT drugs and treat them as we treat alcohol: 19%
  3. Drugs policy should carry on as it is but we should invest more in drug treatment programmes: 15%
  4. We need a proper war on drugs where people caught using drugs have to choose treatment or prison: 46%

My big conclusions are that (i) support for the status quo is very limited (option 3) but that, on balance, Tory members would prefer a change to a tougher rather than a more liberal view; (ii) support for some form of decriminalisation is nonetheless substantial; and (iii) the comment threads which were very pro-decriminalisation failed to reflect the more hardline views of party members.

Blog threads not being representative was a point I recently made in the context of support for David Cameron.

1,340 Tory members all polled on Wednesday 30th November.


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