As might be expected, there are sharp differences in these concerns between people who favor and oppose legalizing marijuana. A large majority of opponents of marijuana legalization (85%) say they would be bothered by public use of the drug, if it were legal; about four-in-ten supporters (43%) also say they would be bothered by this. On the other hand, a majority of opponents of legalization (65%) say they would not be bothered if people used marijuana in their own homes; virtually all supporters of legalization (97%) would not be bothered by this.
The possession of small amounts of marijuana is no longer a crime in Portugal. After studying drug policy in Great Britain, an independent commission concluded that a policy of stiff penalties is just as costly as it is ineffective. Although the report does not advocate the legalization of drugs, it does call for a rethinking of drug policy. Too rarely "do lawmakers admit (that) not all drug use creates problems," the report's authors write. They argue that the possession of smaller amounts should no longer be a punishable offense and that cannabis cultivation by ordinary consumers should be decriminalized and perhaps even legalized.