Ashbury Park, NJ: Fewer than one in five Americans nationwide believe that consuming marijuana is more dangerous than drinking alcohol, according to a national telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters by the polling firm Rasmussen Reports.
Fifty percent of respondents, including the majority of those who said that they drank alcohol, rated the use of marijuana to be less dangerous than booze. Only 17 percent of those polled said that cannabis is the more dangerous of the two substances.
Twenty-six percent of respondents said that both substances are equally dangerous.
Commenting on the poll results NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink, said: "By almost any objectively measurable standard, cannabis is safer than booze – both to the individual consumer and to society as a whole. However, given our government's longstanding demonization of the cannabis plant and its users it is remarkable that anyone – much less half of America – recognizes this fact. Ideally, these survey results will spark a long-overdue national dialogue asking why our laws target and prosecute those who choose to possess and consume the less dangerous of these two popular substances."
Respondents also agreed, by a nearly two-to-one majority, that marijuana was far less dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
A majority of respondents (65 percent) said that they believed that marijuana would be legal in the United States within ten years.
For more information, please contact Allen St Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at: (202) 483-5500.