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.

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

    1. Luke says:

      Honestly I cant belive it that close. This just shows how uneducated or just educated in the government propaganda. In the past 7 or 8 years I have seen maybe three cases in the news where marijuana was involved in a deadly car wreck and at least this past one was a woman who was also drunk but somehow is blamed primarily on the pot. Alcohol related accidents and deaths are a nightly occurance around the city I live in. A co-worker was 1 car back from being a splatter on the road because some drunk was going 80 on the wrong side of the interstate. Unfortunately the woman infront of him was killed on impact and the drunk only had a broken leg.

      No one should be driving impaired on alcohol, weed, prescription pain killers ect. but what it comes down to is alcohol is a way more dangerous substance and taken thousands of lives but somehow its still legal.

    2. […] is the original post:  Rasmussen Reports: Majority Of Americans Now Agree That Booze Is More Dangerous Than Pot Share and […]

    3. fatherdaddy says:

      Can I get a “Duh!”?

    4. MicK says:

      I understand that marijuana is safer than alcohol.
      but talking about how bad alcohol is isn’t gonna help get marijuana legalized, in fact it might make alcohol become taxed more and stuff.
      why not talk about how dangerous the government is?

    5. Joe Snow says:

      There’s no comparison since Alcohol is the only real killer . Speaking of Alcohol…….has anyone heard the new anti – marijuana radio Ad put out by ( obviously ) the Drug , Alcohol and ( maybe ) tobacco Companies ?
      It starts out with a Mom telling her son that they soon will be drug testing in his school . She then asks her son if he ever tried marijuana then she immediately says cocaine , heroin , speedballs , etc. What these Companies are attempting to do is to try and make you the uninformed think that marijuana is just like any other ” hard ” drug . This is called deceptive advertising . They are trying to deceive anyone they can for their own financial greed . Not for their honesty .

      [Paul Armentano responds: I believe that the ad in question is funded by the Church of Scientology.]

    6. mark says:

      A lot of people have come to realize that the govt’ has been lying about a lot of issues. And this issue has costed us billions with no end in sight, nor alternative solutions proposed. “The Green Baggers”, Pro Tax, Pro Jobs, Pro Freedom loving Americans are the only ones with an alternative.

      What makes me real hopeful is the other headline to an article/survey linked to this one reads “57% would vote to replace the entire Congress”.

    7. Chrokee Fred Jesus says:

      If the facts were admitted by our lawmakers. Rather than stating what they know to be lies and propaganda. The numbers would be much higher. We have been feed lies for over 70 years about cannabis and the motives behind the war on drugs. This is hard to overcome because some will believe what ever the mainstream media feeds them. Without doing a little reading and research to see the truth.

      I feel history will look at the war on drugs and its supporters. As being part of a large corporate scam pulled off with the help of our so called leaders. Its main legacy will be for destroying the lives of about 22,000,000 Americans lives and counting….

      Cherokee Fred Jesus

    8. […] with children at home think alcohol is more dangerous than those without kids living with them. Rasmussen Reports: Majority Of Americans Now Agree That Booze Is More Dangerous Than Pot | NORML Blo… Change indeed. […]

    9. Fireweed says:

      and my mohte used to worry about me a lot, as I’ve smoked pot since I was 15 and she tried her darndes to get me to quit. I remember sitting in the kitchen in the morning waking up to a cup of coffee and she’d start in on another one of her magazine articles she read, “I read somewhere that pot makes your hair fall out.”

      At 80 now, and seeing that I managed to become a thriving adult, in fact quite healthy in spite of all the dire warnings about long term heavy pot use, and she is even conceding that maybe pot isn’t all that bad for you. I think I got her on the legalize it bandwagon.

    10. Every time I read stuff like this it just makes me more and more frustrated. Why is the federal Government insisting on being our parents? The only and I mean ONLY reason this botanical is illegal is because of Corporate intrests. Just like god forbid the banks failed and logic dictates that new banks would take over and the “old money” would be undercut. So it is true that buisness’s that would compete with marijuana and hemp production would lose their hold on the capital that run’s their industries. Who can compete with the money pledged to the D.C. Puppets that is supplied by Big Pharma, The logging industry, The paper industry, The cotton industry and so on. I get the feeling we will never see legalized marijuana and thats a shame. Decriminalization is not good enough. Decriminalization is predjudice to some, Legalization is for all. If we decriminalize, those that are handicapped and rely on public assistance for housing will and have lost their homes, those that are on workers comp will lose their benefits, those that are gov’t workers such as police, nurses, highway workers, office clerks will lose their jobs because decriminalization will not mean that those people will get as fair a shake as an entrepenure or doctor or politician. Legalization is the only answer and is fair for all not just the privedged. The war on pot is a war on Responsible adults and The Handicapped. Unfortunatly big buisness doesn’t care for responsible adults or the handicapped, big buisness only cares for it’s own CEO’s and stock holders as well as the puppets it funds into office to keep the laws in favor if it’s own intrest’s