MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. An absolute majority of Russians (89%) are firmly against the idea of legalizing soft drugs, as follows from an opinion poll conducted by the national public opinion research center VTsIOM.
Soft drugs should by no means be allowed to be sold alongside tobacco or alcohol and this firm opinion of most Russians remains unchanged for many years, the survey found. In 2004, 85% said so. In 2017 the share of firm opponents was as high as 93% and in 2018% only slightly smaller, 89%.
Over years the attitude of Russians to those who take drugs has changed. In 2004, 29% percent of respondents said drug addiction was a disease and called for providing medical assistance to people with drug problems. In 2017, this point of view was supported by almost half of those polled, and in 2018 the share went down slightly to 37%.
One in three (32%) believes drug addiction is a social problem and society’s own ills must be treated first. In 2017, 28% of Russians said so. One in five - 23% (21% in 2017) - is for the isolation of drug addicts from society. Another five percent claim the use of drugs is a personal affair of each individual and 3% do not criticize such people.
Most Russians (82%) believe that a person taking drugs is unable to get rid of the dependence on one’s own and 14% stick to the opposite viewpoint. The share of those who will go to the police should they become witnesses of drugs being used or sold has grown considerably over the past ten years: from 57% in 2007 to 73% in 2018. Far less Russians will prefer to stay indifferent: in 2007 one in four (25%) showed no intention of taking the problem to official institutions in charge, while in 2018 a tiny 10% declared they would stay idle onlookers.
The VTsIOM-Sputnik poll was conducted by telephone on June 21. A total audience of 1,600 men and women of age were questioned. The statistical margin of error did not exceed 2.2% with a degree of probability of 95%. In 2004, VTsIOM pollsters questioned respondents going from door to door. In 2017, VTsIOM-Sputnik interviewed an audience of 1,200.