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Poll indicates majority of Russians support criminalizing drug use

June 26, 2017, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the poll results, 52% Russians now see drug addiction as a medical problem and not as a social one

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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. As many as 78% of Russians support the idea of introducing criminal liability for using drugs, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement published on its website on Monday.

"Russians believe that criminal liability could be introduced for using drugs, as more than three-quarters (78%) of those surveyed supported the idea," the statement reads. "A vast majority of Russians (93%) also believe that narcotic substances should not be sold alongside alcohol and tobacco goods, while only six percent of respondents support the legal trade of so-called soft drugs," the pollster added.

According to the poll results, 52% of Russians point to the rise in the number of drug users over the recent years, but at the same time, Russians now see drug addiction as a medical problem and not as a social one. "As many as 45% of our fellow countrymen say that drug addiction is an illness requiring medical treatment (in 2014, 31% shared this opinion). The number of people who consider it to be a ‘social malaise’ has decreased from 37% to 28% in the past several years, while the threat from drug users is considered to be less serious, as the number of those who support the idea of isolating drug users from society has dropped down from 28% to 21%," the pollster said.

"The rising concern is caused, first and foremost, by the fact that, as most Russians say, the drug problem continues to spread. So it is no surprise that in the current situation people are inclined to support tougher measures, even the introduction of criminal liability for using drugs, while they strongly oppose attempts to initiate a discussion of the possibility to legalize soft drugs," head of the pollster’s information policy and communication technologies division Kirill Rodin pointed out.

The telephone poll was conducted among 1,200 people on June 20-21, 2017, with a margin of error of 95% certainty, not exceeding 3.5%.

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