Poll: Americans think marijuana is less harmful than alcohol

Emily Gray Brosious

April 18, 2017: 10:58 AM CT

Americans think marijuana is less harmful than alcohol(Photo credits: [left] David McNew/Getty Images, [right] Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)


New polling on marijuana usage and attitudes in the United States reveals some interesting findings, including that Americans think alcohol, processed sugar and saturated fat are more harmful than cannabis.

Just 16 percent of Americans surveyed said they believe marijuana is “very harmful,” lower than the number of Americans who said alcohol (27 percent), processed sugar (23 percent) and saturated fat (33 percent) is “very harmful.”

The study, conducted by Toronto-based market research firm DIG Insights, surveyed 1,105 Americans ages 18 to 65 between April 3 and 7, 2017.

“Our goal was to create a custom research report that would serve as a benchmark for the growing Cannabis industry, legislators and other interested parties,” DIG Insights research director Rory McGee said in a release.

The survey found a majority of Americans (57 percent) support legalizing marijuana for adult use. These findings are in line with October 2016 polling by Gallup and Pew Research Center, which found 60 percent and 57 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana.

DIG Insights’ polling also indicates support for legal marijuana is particularly strong among young men (79 percent) and millennials (68 percent) in the U.S.

The majority of Americans (51 percent) believe marijuana consumption can be beneficial, while 32 percent think regular marijuana users are less successful in life.

Twenty-two percent of Americans admitted to using marijuana for recreational purposes in the past year, and an additional 24 percent said they would potentially use the drug if it is legalized.


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Gallery source links: AP (Argentina), CNN (Australia), The Canberra Times (Australia), California NORML (USA), Extract (USA), ProCon.org (USA), MedicalMarijuana.ca (Canada), Dutch Medical Cannabis Program (Netherlands), Los Angeles TImes (Uruguay), Romania Insider (Romania), Associated Press (Chile), Reuters (Chile), NORML (Austria), ProCon.org (Austria), Transnational Institute (Czech Republic), Colombia Reports (Colombia), Associated Press (Croatia), Associated Press (Jamaica), International Business Times (Israel), CNN (Germany), Sensi Seeds (Finland), International Business Times (Italy), Balkan Insight (Macedonia), CNN (Portugal), International Business Times (Spain)
Open source graphics links: Fred the Oyster/Openclipart (Czech Republic), Anonymous/Openclipart (Croatia), Fred the Oyster/Openclipart (Macedonia), Firkin/Openclipart (Germany)

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