Americans believe that consuming marijuana poses less harm to their health than the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or sugar, according to a poll released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
Respondents were asked which four substances they believed to be the “most harmful to a person’s overall health.” The poll revealed that tobacco (49%), followed by alcohol (24%) and sugar (15%) were believed to be the most harmful. Then marijuana (8%) was believed to be the least harmful. The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.10 percent.
“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,” said Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML. “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.”
Currently, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance by the Federal government, putting it in the same class as heroin.