'War on drugs' not successful according to ITV Wales poll

Ecstasy tablets Credit: PA

Three quarters of people in Wales believe the so-called ‘war on drugs’ has not been been successful in reducing drug use.

That’s the main finding from an opinion poll commissioned by ITV Wales with the pollsters YouGov.

But the majority of people surveyed said drug addicts should continue to be dealt with mainly by the police and courts and not through the NHS.

42% of 18-24 year olds want cannabis legalised Credit: PA

**Key findings:**

  • 75% of people in Wales say the 'war on drugs' has not been successful in reducing drug use. Across Great Britain that figure is 70%.

  • 73% want the sale and possession of hard drugs like heroin to remain a criminal offence as it is now.

  • 41% believe drug addicts should be dealt with through police and courts while 38% say it should be through the NHS.

  • Source: YouGov/ITV Wales poll, sample size 1015.

Attitudes towards softer drugs like cannabis are mixed.

35% say the sale and possession of soft drugs should remain a criminal offence like now. While 24% say it should be regarded as a minor offence.

Legalisation was the option favoured most by 18-24 year olds.

Most people do not want to see drugs like cocaine legalised Credit: PA

Drug policy is not a devolved matter and the UK Government has given no indication that it intends to alter the law.

But some have suggested a new approach is needed.

Drug deaths are at their highest on record. In Wales there has been a 188% rise in 23 years.