Poll: Americans View Pot As Less Harmful To Health Than Tobacco, Alcohol, Or Sugar

by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
NORML.org
Mar. 18, 2014

Americans believe that consuming cannabis poses less harm to health than does the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or sugar, according to the findings of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released today.

Respondents were asked which of the four substances they believed to be "most harmful to a person's overall health." Most respondents said tobacco (49 percent), followed by alcohol (24 percent) and sugar (15 percent).

Only eight percent of those surveyed said that they believed that marijuana was most harmful to health.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.10 percent.

Commenting on the poll results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "These results once again reaffirm that an overwhelming majority of the American public understands that any potential risks associated with the use or abuse of cannabis are relatively minor to those associated with many other legal and regulated substances. Criminalizing cannabis and those who consume it responsibly is a disproportionate public policy response to what is, at worst, a public health issue but not a criminal justice concern."

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance, meaning that its alleged harms are equal to those of heroin.







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