Social Indicators Research

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 1191–1204 | Cite as

French People’s Positions Regarding National Policies About Illicit Drugs: A Preliminary Study

  • Julie Camus
  • Maria Teresa Munoz Sastre
  • Paul Clay Sorum
  • Etienne MulletEmail author


French people’s positions regarding actual and potential drug policies were examined. Adults (N = 225) aged 18–81 were presented with 28 vignettes that were composed according to a three within-subject orthogonal factor design: (a) demand for drugs in the country, (b) information campaigns regarding their dangerousness, and (c) current state policy regarding soft and hard drugs, from “laissez faire” policy for all drugs to complete prohibition of all drugs. Participants rated the level of acceptability of each policy. Three clusters were identified. The first one (32 % of participants) was called “Radical Constructionists” because participants considered that all policies were unacceptable. The second one (26 %) was called “Prohibitionists” because only one drug policy was considered fully acceptable: Complete prohibition with the condition that information campaigns are conducted. The third cluster (42 %) was called “Regulationists” because only one drug policy was considered as fully acceptable: Complete state regulation (with the same condition). In all clusters, the “laissez-faire” policy was always judged as the least acceptable one, even when it was just about soft drugs. The strongest opposition observed was not between prohibition and regulation but between “laissez-faire” on the one hand and regulation and prohibition on the other hand. Methodological implications and implications for decision-makers are discussed.


Drug policy Public perception France 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Camus
    • 1
  • Maria Teresa Munoz Sastre
    • 1
  • Paul Clay Sorum
    • 2
  • Etienne Mullet
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Mirail UniversityToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Albany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Advanced Studies (EPHE)ParisFrance

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