Rasmussen: Americans Believe Alcohol To Be More Dangerous Than Pot

Americans Believe Alcohol To Be More Dangerous Than PotAsbury Park, NJ: Twice as many Americans with an opinion say that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis, according to a nationwide Rasmussen telephone poll of 1,000 adults.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said that they believed that alcohol "is more dangerous" than marijuana. Only 24 percent of respondents believed that cannabis posed greater dangers than booze. Another 24 percent of respondents were undecided.

By gender, 54 percent of men said that alcohol was more dangerous than cannabis, versus 49 percent of women. Male respondents between the ages of 40 and 64 were most likely (57 percent) to say that cannabis was less harmful than booze.

Overall, respondents were evenly divided on the question of whether cannabis should be legalized. Forty-five percent of those surveyed answered affirmatively and forty-five percent opposed the idea. (Ten percent were undecided.) Male respondents (51 percent) were far more likely to support legalization than females (39 percent). Male respondents also were more likely than women to admit to having consumed cannabis. According to the survey, 15 percent of men versus only six percent of women acknowledged having "smoked marijuana within the past year."

A majority of respondents believed that cannabis policy is best left up to the individual states. Sixty percent of those surveyed said that state governments "should decide whether marijuana is legal in a state." Only 27 percent of those surveyed said that this decision should be left up to the federal government.

The Rasmussen survey was conducted on November 9 and 10. The survey results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

A May 2012 Rasmussen telephone poll reported that 58 percent of Americans believe that the personal use of marijuana should no longer be a criminal offense, and that 56 percent of Americans think the substance ought to be legalized like alcohol.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.