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

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.

29 thoughts

  1. Interesting. But public opinion is retarded- a majority believe in supernatural phenomena for example. Plus, sugar is essential in moderate dosages while Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis are not.

    I care only about objective facts. Sure, they are finally getting close to correct on this particular issue, but it is not different from the rest in general. These people’s opinion is the result of propaganda, not of their own truth quest. They are still not capable of being objective.

  2. Sugar?

    yes, essential in moderate dosages, the issue is overdose, over the last decades a monstrous sugar overdosage conspiracy has been perpetrated resulting in obesity, diabetes etc. almost up there with tobacco for most harm, and this poll shows citizens are wising up.

    Sugar (especially famous beloved High Fructose Gulpsugar) is dangerous today because children live in a world full of advertising (hatefearteasing) and sneaky trick cues to scare them into OVERDOSING on it. A kind of GULP reflex is built into the population, and 24-ounce dosages of HFCS pop are marketed in non-resealable containers (“drink it fast, it’ll go flat then it’s no good”)– with actual brand names like “Big Gulp” to cue youngsters what to do with the drink.

    Further deceit: a harsh but tolerable carbonation “impact” may add to a certain “feeling” [delusion!] that they’re taking a kind of medicine that will cure them (temporarily?) of the blues, anxiety or whatever, “oh but it has to hurt you in some way first, in order to help you.”

    HURRIED INGESTION: every molecule that gets past the SALIVA unchecked (i.e. too hurriedly swallowed without chewing, swishing, tasting) is potential sabotage to probiota in your gut, and results in rogue bacteria creating alcohol waste products which dumb down your entire organism and make you Depressive. Then one profitable form of MANIA which afflicts Depressives when pressure builds up is– to burst out and spend MONEY recklessly! Just what “they” want you to do, that’s that Depressifier drugs like $igarettes, alcohol and gulppop lead to.

    Cannabis can inspire i.e. “teach” some users how to learn handwork, do more things, spend less money, the reverse of those three profit drugs. One 25-mg toke provides enough cannabinoid to imagine, sketch, draw important inventions for hours; similarly imagine, think, hum, sing, dance to, conduct, play energizing tunes; make or repair products, tools and equipment INSTEAD OF BUYING. Entire neighborhoods will save money and build up local equity to fund improvements such as landscape repair and reforestation.

    Servile “it’s about the money” “jobs” (to maintain a Depressive spending lifestyle) will be lost in the economy but REPLACED by interesting challenging productive work individuals and families do without having to get paid as much because they don’t spend as much.

    Once it is demonstrated sufficiently that cannabis can be used to cure the number one disease of modern history, DEPRESSION, that 8% (“more dangerous than tob, alc, sug”) will shrink to 0.

    “Jettison the Joint”: the key to eliminating the fear of cannabis harm everywhere is to remove from use permanently the main cause of harm, the “habit” (who taught you that?) of rolling up 500-mg or more of cannabis in paper (like a tobacco $igarette, hm…) and burn it all away in minutes– unless you’re not afraid to carry a stinky halfjoint around and risk getting arrested for “possession”. Thus there is built in situational fear urging users to binge-overdose hurriedly now on the product to protect against later problems (compare with the Gulp pop– drink it now or it’ll go flat).

    The joint is a drug cocktail of heat shock, carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins, with the harmful effects getting blamed mostly on the cannabis.


    An article now underway at “wikiHow,.com/Make Pipes from Everyday Objects” describes how to make two forms of Long-Drawtube One-Hitter which can eliminate the harms of “joint smoking” and convert that final 8% who still believe cannabis is dangerous. Sign in, revise, improve the article, add pictures, diagrams, contribute to worldwide health reform #1 for this century. Yes you CAN VAPE with a one-hitter.

  3. Not only is it less harmful- I fully believe marijuana negated much of the damage alcohol and tobacco did to my body. I began partying at the typical age- and gradually became a problem. 5 years ago my organs were failing, I was bleeding internally all the time, I was classified as “hyper-obese”, and I had the lung function of an 83 year old. At that time I was 30 and I could tell I was dying. I quit drinking and smoking on my own- and neither was pretty or easy. I found cannibis in that time: mostly because it was the only option that took the edge of coming off these terrible products off completely without the side effects that the meds that were not only offered but more or less forced on me would most likely have. I’m certain that simply quitting alone would have had positive results- but in 5 years my organs are functioning as they should (some were given a “death sentence” by my doctor), I’ve lost 1/3 of my body weight (I’m at an average weight for my height/age), and my lung function is now that of a 38 year old. My once lengthy medication collection is now just an as needed allergy pill. I medicate once a day- in the evening, after all the day’s duties are finished. My doctor doesn’t understand what I’ve done to make such a 180 in overall well being. I’m still thinking about how open he’d be to the truth. I am, after all participating in criminal activity in my state in the eyes of the law and practices that threaten pharmaceutical companies. I have no intention of quitting my newfound once daily medicine, nor do I intend to go back to my career participating in the prohibition of something so positive and life-changing. I’m sorry I ever bought in to it in the first place. There’s a billion stories more inspiring than mine and as public opinion starts to sway in favor of cannibis I hope the terrible alternatives that social norms and the feds have declared “safe” are tolerated like “pot” has been in the past. Many thanks and keep up the great work norml!

  4. Legalize Cannabis Freedom !

    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
    – Genesis 1:29

    He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man:
    – Psalm 104:14

    We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.
    – John Adams

    The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.
    – Thomas Jefferson

  5. Anyone doing even basic research should quickly conclude that alcohol is much more detrimental to one’s health than marijuana. For that reason (alone) I believe that marijuana has helped me tremendously since it helps ro curb my urge to consume alcohol! In my opinion, that property is enough to be considered medicinal. I’m sure the DEA would vigorously disagree…

  6. Back in my back-to-nature hippie commune days we viewed white sugar downright satanic. I still avoid it.

  7. well the problem here weed leads to munchies, munchies leads to snacks, most all snacks have sugar ….. it’s an evil conspiracy alright.

  8. Mr. President do you know what is stupid other than using pot as a kid?

    How about arresting that stupid teen, now he is the systems problem. I bet that must cost everyone a fortune.

    How about the marijuana prohibition bullshit. It started from a culture when you, the president of the USA, were not allowed to drink from the same water fountain as a white man. There was no science to back up any of Harry Anslingers claims. Only the printed newspaper run by W.R. Hearst.

    Stupid? How about removing hemp from our food.

    Our forefathers, including George Washington came to America to grow hemp, not any hemp but Indian Hemp. Yes our forefathers were stoners, but they kicked ass to keep our “tea” and profits in America, and not give it to the British.

    No one really kills people for tea, but they really will kill for food. Hemp was grown primarily as food, the British were taking our food. Then in the 1930s we removed food from huge land masses (thanks Harry) and people began to starve in the USA, Africa, Mexico, Afghanistan, etc…

    Stupid? How about removing the worlds greatest medicine from our reach because some culture of people didn’t like the color associated with cannabis smokers. Did you really think tobacco was all that ever went into those peace pipes our American Indians used? Come on!

    @Paul – I actually heard that if sugar were invented today it would actually have to be classified as a drug. Not sure if this is true but it really makes me want to rethink the whole scheduling process run by the DEA.

  9. So there is this new trend of academic instutions, some of the best in the world, offering online classes for absolutely free.

    These MOOC’s or Massively Open Online Courses are offered by Coursera and EdX, MIT courseware, and others

    Here is a class coming up this summer

    The American Disease: Drugs and Drug Control in the USA

    This online course introduces the history and practice of drug policy. Students will learn about drug laws and their origins, and the complex task of drug policy analysis. The course also tackles contemporary issues in drug control, such as marijuana policy and prescription drug misuse.


    sign up! it’s free and the forums these classes use are highly enlightening.

    [Editor’s note: Indeed…reformers should watch this online course as it is being taught by an always aspiring prohibitionist (and ‘drug czar’ wannabe) named Kevin Sabet of Project SAM.]

  10. One other thing, regarding “sugar.”

    The big substitute for sugar used to be saccharine (100 times sweeter than sugar) but was linked with tumor development in lab animals.

    Then they came up with Nutrasweet, or aspartame. This is a dipeptide, or 2 amino acids linked together, aspartic acid and phenylaline. Hence diet soda cans have a warning for people with PKU (phenketonuria), an inability to metabolize phenylalanine. But for those without PKU, aspartame is still not a healthful alternative.

    In fact, aspartame is metabolized, or digested, first, by a conversion of the molecule…to methanol. Methanol is one of the simple alcohols, a powerful solvent used in windshield wiper fluid. Diet soda is poison.

    Besides that, there is high fructose corn syrup. The cheap syrup extracted from inferior staple crop corn, is five times sweeter than sugar (sucrose), and is so highly refined, the body is fooled into believing it is receiving healthful nutrition, when highly refined, super-easily digested sugars (versus complex carbohydrates like oats and whole grains), lead to metabolic disorders. Why HFC when sugar is the most subsidized of all cash crops? Because it is dirt cheap, although the most simple, refined sugars lead to metabolic disorders like type-ii, adult onset diabetes

  11. @Weed The People – I couldn’t agree more!!!

    Their idiotic War On Drugs and Marijuana Prohibition has done far far more harm to our country (not to mention the individuals and their families caught up in it) than legalizing all drugs could have ever caused!

    The war against peaceful marijuana users is the most disgusting of all; masquerading as big brother looking out for us while stealing our property, killing our dogs, locking us up, forcing us into unneeded rehab clinics and more… All, supposedly, part of keeping us more safe – HA!

    The Federal branch of Govt is particular often seems to be downright evil in it’s intent.

  12. Quite the conundrum, cannabis and sugar are soooo good together. I definitely believe as a nation the level of sugar addicts vs the level of cannabis addicts is probably 100/1.

  13. Sugar? well I like it in my coffee. They said it could not happen in America. Sugar that evil addictive white powder ruining the life’s of our nations children, like a cancer, costing society an untold sum. Sugar abuse must be stopped! This is a sugar free company if you abuse sugar don’t apply. Imagine the fuss in school on the first day back after the holidays when that forgotten about Christmas cookie falls out of juniors backpack in front of the teacher. Junior, and his sister bundled off to safe homes with foster parents, the swat team descending on the house automatic weapons drawn. Mom her face tear streaked, hair disheveled pasted up on the evening news. The parents were arrested, charged with child endangerment, and for providing a controlled substance to a minor, says the evening news anchor with a lit in her voice.

  14. Mom goes to jail because she baked Christmas cookies for the kids. They say it will never happen in America, will it…

  15. Marijuana regulates and treats diabetes by creating homeostasis in the endicrine and endocannabinoid systems. CB2 receptors throughout major organs receive cannabidiol and other cannabinoids in marijuana that stimulate operation and balanced function. Additionally, a variety of nutrients can be ingested or vaporized in marijuana that contain all the essential amino acids required by the human body.
    Americans have an excess of corn syrup subsidized into our diet. Harmful quantities of high fructose corn syrup can provoke diabetes, obesity and related illness. It is time to diversify corn crops with hemp and marijuana for a healthy human diet. Nonrefined cane sugar is healthier than high fructose cirn syrup, but can also stimulate diabetes in high quantities.
    For a good sugar/sweetener alternative for diabetics (or borderline) try a variety of organic agave syrups out on the market.
    I just finished watching Dr. Gupta’s Weed 2 documentary. The greatest injustice and hypocrisy we face today stems frim the Department of Human Social Services. How much more hypocritical can our government be than to own the patent on cannabinoids as neuroprotectants to treat brain tumors in children, and yet the same Department that owns the patent will take the child into private foster care custody for profit if the parents choose to use the safest medicine available for their child; marijuana?
    I applaud Dr. Gupta’s investigations of patent “507“ and GW pharmacueticals. In light of prohibitionists like Robert DuPont’s piss- testing empire, or David Koch’s timber and petrochemical patents, and the monopoly that Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and GW Pharm has in the prison-drug-industrial complex, this important investigation of patenting requires a “Weed 3.“

  16. A discovery everyone has already made but bears repeating: things that taste good (or that you think taste good) get swished or chewed longer, less likely to be hurriedly gulpswallowed.

    There is no need ever to pay money and buy any “beverage” that has gulpsugar in it, but if you did, or got giveaways, or salvaged leftovers as I do, the safest way to use it is as fluid additive to a crockpot of stew, along with water and other fluids.

    The good taste will increase enjoyment of veggies from the stew when you eat them. But you never get hustled into taking a quick gulp of it, the taste is combined with chewing the stuff you know is good for you, not separated off into a possibly overdose “drink”.

  17. It’s almost funny to me that our founding fathers of this country of ours were clearly about the hemp when they wrote the constitution ,yet the powers that be today hesitate …. Come on , so many positives can come from legality ,the deficit could be fixed , hell u could change lives in so many ways …guess. Ill b a pot smoking lawbreaker till then lol

  18. Yes sugar is essential, but not the type of “processed” sugar that is placed into dang near every substance that we eat. So in that aspect the general populous is actually correct. That is why I am worried that man in his great wisdom will process pot and make it harmful just like every other item that we have to manipulate to make a quick buck.

  19. Big govt. is detrimental to a healthy economy due to its self protecting and unjust protraction.

  20. This is so very boring to the folks that have been paying attention. It like reading a news report from the 1970’s. No shit sugar and tobacco are worse than marijuana… That is why niggers are executing the War on Drugs; to turn us into them, brain dead robots–has nothing to do with health and eveything to do with turning your life into shit. It is amazing how both druggies and the police both use drugs as an excuse to treat other people like shit.

  21. The fascists have been fighting every good idea Americans have had for decades now. How many people inventing ways to improve cars and lower admissions that were then bought and put on a shelf–the invention never used to make life better because some dick is afraid they might have to “compete” harder. Which is wholly Un-American. Legislating your success is corruption of our system. If you’re not competing, innovating and standing behind your products you’re a thief stealing in a capitalist society. Cheating is the main way to success in certain circles–and is currently the path to success as far as Neocon’s and hyper-liberals are concerned. And this is why 85% percent supporting medical marijuana still isn’t good enough for our “leadership”, oh I mean our “cheatership”. What is there to “fight” when 85% already support??????????? Fucking do your jobs already and write non-shitty laws not full of lies and subterfuge.

  22. this is part of the shit that got us vietnam sending our guys off to war because we were starting to have an opinion, yea were’re still here while you old grey haired f**ks are dying off. and all the while all the politicians are like the corps and dealers lyning their pockets.

  23. there are more deaths in the case of Tobacco, Alcohol, Or Sugar than pot ever thought of doing the research your self to get a clue on what your talking about instead of dissing something because every one else is doing it

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