Vermont Voters Overwhelmingly Support Drug Decriminalization, Across Party Lines, New Poll Finds

Vermont Voters Overwhelmingly Support Drug Decriminalization, Across Party Lines, New Poll Finds
MJ moment

Vermont voters overwhelmingly support decriminalizing currently illicit drugs and treating substance misuse as a public health issue, according to a new poll. The survey released by Data for Progress and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) on Thursday found widespread, bipartisan support for the basic principle of decriminalization, as well as specific legislation to achieve that reform that was introduced this year but did not advance. More than four out of five Vermont voters (84 percent) said that they’re in favor of removing criminal penalties for simple drug possession, imposing a civil fine in lieu of incarceration and allocating resources for treatment and harm reduction, as proposed by legislators. Via Data for Progress/DPA. That support includes majorities of Democrats (91 percent), Republicans (68 percent) and independents (87 percent), the poll found. As a general matter, 81 percent of voters overall said that they favor treating drug use as a health issue, compared to just 17 percent who said they think people who use illicit substances should face criminal penalties like incarceration. Again, support for a public health approach to addiction extended across partisan lines, with 91 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of independents agreeing with the statement that “we should treat drug use as a health issue, focusing on deducing the harms of addiction and offering voluntary treatment, health, and recovery services.” Via Data for Progress/DPA. “With Vermont having one of the highest increases in overdoses in the country last year, it’s clear that the existing approach of criminalizing people who use drugs isn’t working to keep people safe. In fact, it has only made things worse,” Grey Gardner, senior staff attorney at DPA, said in a press release. “This survey makes it abundantly clear that Vermont voters want a different approach—one focused on health rather…

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Source : Vermont Voters Overwhelmingly Support Drug Decriminalization, Across Party Lines, New Poll Finds

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