Rasmussen Reports: Majority Of Americans Now Agree That Booze Is More Dangerous Than Pot

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 31, 2009

    More than half of Americans agree that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Rassmussen Reports has the details here:

    51% Rate Alcohol More Dangerous Than Marijuana
    via Rasmussen Reports

    Fifty-one percent (51%) of American adults say alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 19% disagree and say pot is worse.

    But 25% say both are equally dangerous. Just two percent (2%) say neither is dangerous.

    Younger adults are more likely than their elders to view alcohol as the more dangerous of the two.

    Fifty-three percent (53%) of women say alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, compared to 48% of men. Men by a two-to-one margin over women say pot is riskier, but women are more inclined to say both are dangerous.

    Unmarried adults are more critical of alcohol than those who are married. Those with children at home think alcohol is more dangerous than those without kids living with them.

    Given the multitude of ways that our culture celebrates booze while simultaneously stigmatizing cannabis, these survey results are rather remarkable. Despite more than seven decades of federally sponsored pot propaganda, a slight majority of adults — including many Americans who drink booze and don’t smoke pot — recognize that alcohol poses far greater harms to the consumer and to society than does weed.

    Here are just a few of the ways:

    Quite literally, alcohol is an intoxicant; cannabis is not.

    The word intoxicant is derived from the Latin noun, toxicum, meaning: “a poison.” It’s an appropriate description for booze. Alcohol is toxic to healthy cells and organs, a side-effect that results in some 35,000 deaths per year. Ethanol, the psychoactive ingredient in booze, is carcinogenic following its initial metabolization, which is why even moderate drinking is positively associated with increased incidences of various types of cancer. Heavy alcohol consumption can depress the central nervous system — inducing unconsciousness, coma, and death — and is strongly associated with increased risks of injury (Booze plays a role in about 41,000 fatal accidents per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.) and acts of violence. In fact, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Crime Statistics, alcohol consumption plays a role in approximately one million violent crimes annually.

    By contrast, the active compounds in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, are remarkably non-toxic and actually mimic chemicals naturally produced by the body, so-called endocannabinoids, that are vital for maintaining one’s proper health. Unlike alcohol, marijuana is incapable of causing fatal overdose — cannabinoids do not act upon the brain stem — and its use is inversely associated with aggression and injury. Finally, lifetime use of cannabis is not associated with increased risk of mortality or various types of cancer — including lung cancer — and may even reduce such risk.

    Given our government’s demonization of the cannabis plant and its users it’s a wonder that anyone — much less over half of America — is finally recognizing these facts. That said, this awareness does not yet translate into majority support for legalizing cannabis, which Rasmussen reports remains below 50 percent — meaning that we still have our work cut out for us.

    96 Responses to “Rasmussen Reports: Majority Of Americans Now Agree That Booze Is More Dangerous Than Pot”

    1. Karen says:

      If you prefer to smoke, you will justify it. If you prefer to drink you will justify it.
      Personally, I think you should do both. Smoking cuts your drinking in half, and drinking cuts your smoking in half. Diversify yourself.

    2. bob says:

      are government says the want to help the economy well legalize pot that’s a no brainer like others have said on here it is less dangerious than alcohol is i dont smoke it any more because its not legal but i would if it was not all the time but on ocation i think the people should decide

    3. Sara says:

      man they are so wrong.
      how many people have you heard dieing from pot?
      alcohol yes a lot of people have die from alcohol.
      i know somebody dieing from alcohol.

    4. WheelsD says:

      I have kids now, I can not go to jail. I do not have any political power, and I live in Saskatchewan Canada. If I got busted with a few plants, or a once, I would face 2 to 5 years in jail. A little more about me. I am a heavy Equipment Operator, I use to smoke an ounce of high test a week. At my workplace if peoples lives depended on the equipment operator they always put there trust in me. I smoke weed at work, but I never got over excited.

      Anyway, I can’t risk going to jail now so I have quit smoking pot. I have quit for a while now and I do not like what I have become. I’m abusive, quick tempered, not a good father and a terrible husband.

      The chance of jail was not the only reason I quit, I did some math a while back and I figure I put around $250 000 dollars into the hands of organized crime and or gangs. I think its soon going to drive me to drinking. Just the thought of because of me someone was able to afford a gun and place harm onto some innocent.

      For now, it looks like alcohol is better, not for me or my family, but for someone else’s family.

    5. Rev.Sleezy says:

      I would like to see the news report state: “he was twice the legal limit for driving in our state, and we found a pack a Camels in the vehicle. We, are further investigating if the driver had smoked tobacco before getting behind the wheel.”

      The Rev.Sleezy, Activist
      Universal Life Church of the Holy Smoke
      Potland, OR

    6. tokerdesigner says:

      Disappointing that while comparisons to alcohol make herb look good, we’re missing the opportunity to make the more important comparison to tobackgo, especially since the Big 2Wackgo oligarchy leads the fight to keep 1.2 billion humans enslaved worldwide through among other things cannabis prohibition.

      1. Remember that because cigarettes are available as a sober-up drug many are misled to binge-drink followed by driving or other risk-taking. The results are written off to the alcohol and there is not enough attention to nicotine as enabling drug.

      2. Teenagers binge-drink to impress peers and earn membership in some club or gang by drinking as many as the other guys do, then when SCHOOL (an institution which teaches them to play it cool) requires preparation for the big test and you need to unfog your brain from the hangover– well, that’s when anti-sleep drug cigarette is necessary– leading to addiction. (As the President said of himself, half the addicts are hooked before they are legally old enough to buy cigarettes.)

      Comparisons may not make their point because of failure to compare dosage appropriately. Not just “smoking this” versus “smoking that”– quantify. Instead of a hot burning overdose 700-mg. commercial square, a 25-mg. semivaporized toke in a long-stemmed one-hitter (1/28 the serving size). (Or use a vaporizer; if knowledgeable, work on developing the liquid THC formula which will someday be used in E-spliffs.)

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