American policy on illegal drugs is rapidly changing. As our colleague Jerry Markon reported Sunday, the U.S. drug war is shifting away from prosecuting low-level offenders and toward getting them into treatment. The shift mirrors American attitudes toward how drugs are viewed and how dangerous people perceive them to be. Here are charts from the Pew Research Center's new survey, "America's New Drug Policy Landscape," that illustrate the change.
1. An overwhelming number of respondents say U.S. drug policy should focus more on treatment than incarceration.
2. The number of respondents who believe marijuana should be legalized has steadily risen.
3. Most also believe that mandatory drug sentences are not a good thing.
4. Three-quarters of those surveyed think people should not go to jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
5. A majority of those surveyed believe that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana.