Poll: Younger Voters Say Marijuana Is Less Destructive Than Alcohol

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 19, 2014

    Younger voters overwhelmingly agree that marijuana is less damaging than alcohol, according to the findings of a Rare.us/Gravis Marketing poll released yesterday.

    Among those voters age 18 to 40, 47 percent ranked alcohol as the most harmful substance to society, well ahead of both tobacco (27 percent) and cannabis (13 percent). (Thirteen percent of respondents were undecided.) Respondents among all age and ethnic groups were consistent in ranking marijuana as the least harmful of the three substances, as were self-identified Democrats and Independents. (Republicans rated tobacco to be the most harmful of the three products.)

    “[These] numbers suggest younger Americans are upending societal conventions, which have long seen alcohol as an acceptable drug while condemning marijuana,” stated Rare.us in an accompanying press release.

    The results are somewhat similar to those of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March which reported that most Americans believe tobacco to be most harmful to health (49 percent), followed by alcohol (24 percent), sugar (15 percent), and marijuana (8 percent).

    Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance, meaning that its alleged harms are equal to those of heroin. Both tobacco and alcohol are unscheduled under federal law.

    According to a study published in 2004 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the leading causes of death in the United States ware tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1 percent of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (365,000 deaths; 15.2 percent), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5 percent).

    24 responses to “Poll: Younger Voters Say Marijuana Is Less Destructive Than Alcohol”

    1. john kereszteny says:

      Dangerous drug is now cannabis food & medicine with healing results of success. Cannabis is a plant for food, to eat not smoke. Marijuana for Christmas trees, yes,yes,yes, please, please, pleas. Genesis 1 : 29. Amen.

    2. Miles says:

      While our population continues to grow every more intelligent and educated on this subject, those who could possibly change the idiotic federal law continue to hide their heads in the sand on this issue.

      It’s almost unbelievable that a small handful of fools can continue enforcing this stupidity on us Americans…

      It is absolutely of no surprise to me that Americans are very distrustful of our Govt and their militarized police force!

    3. Anon says:

      Here is something that hit my front page news paper today. From the Times.

      “The stoner stereotype of a clueless guy who habitually sits around his house smoking pot may be true, Tony Coder said.”


      The publicity they pull is beyond stupidity.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      After decades of demonizing, fear-mongering, and lies with billions of dollars wasted?

      I guess honesty really is the best policy.

    5. Cupishere says:

      Alcohol, tobbaco, and caffeine are all far more dangerous than marijuana. They are all more physically addictive and harmful than pot. However, you can go to Walmart and buy an inlimited quantity of each. A ten year old can even buy coffee beans without showing ID! But if a legal adult is caught with marijuana, they go to jail. Of course the cop that arrested him, the prosecutor that sought to incarcinate him, and the judge that locked him up probably get drunk off alcohol on a regular basis.

    6. St. Nick n Dime says:

      Cannabis is the least harmful drug on Earth! It’s literally impossible to reach its lethal dose of half your body weight in 2 hours. That’s smoking 150 lbs for some of nugs! Everyone over ten takes some drug. Even if it’s caffeine or sugar! Man people are going to smoke pot whether its legal or not. We want safe access at a fair price. Marijuana has thousands of medical uses and industrial, recreational, spiritual and other uses including creating jobs and billions in tax dollars. Now that all my “connects” have cut me out, I know, a day without feeling good or smoking weed is a day wasted. I sincerely hope that Tom Wolfe gets elected in Pa and people get out and vote so life just gets better. God invented herb and it wasn’t to trap us. Wasn’t.

    7. Julian says:

      Amazing what a cell phone with decent broadband can do to both tell the truth and provide some decent, legally acquired marijuana.

    8. Judy says:

      Tony Coder is one stupid piece of… You know what! I can only hope that the average intelligence of the people of Indiana are vastly superior to his or that state is in big trouble in the coming years. I’m pretty sure that people like Tony are going to be old and bitter sooner than they realize!

    9. Julian says:

      Nothing could motivate young voters more than seeing pro marijuana legislation on the ballot. Here in Texas, last Friday, Wendy Davis ripped Attorney General Greg Abbott up in the debates for our next Governor. The drug war was a central theme. (YouTube “Wendy Abbott debate”). Wendy pressed a theme of approaching a “new strategy” dealing with cartels by dealing with our addiction with treatment at home. While this explanation leaves open the serious threat of ghost enrollments and the over inflated cost of treatment for mental health expanded by Obamacare, Abbott took the same old, tired “boots on the ground” approach to the border and drug war policy. Wendy Davis responded, in the highlight of the evening, “in the case of child refugees who are escaping drug violence, boots on the ground will not help the situation, but only make things worse.”
      Even if younger voters didn’t have cell phones with high speed access to the internet, this television debate clearly shows that pro-marijuana voters are voting for Wendy Davis.
      Early voting in Texas begins next month, October 30th. The official vote is November 4th. If you or a relative or friend needs to register there is still time until October 13th. Make sure you have a valid picture I.D. and a pen/vaporizer. You’re going to need both when we legalize marijuana in Texas beginning next year.
      Thank you NORML. It’s been a long time coming.

    10. dk says:

      My all time favorite piece of propaganda about marijuana is “You’ll never amount to anything !”
      11 U.S. presidents smoked pot and still landed the most coveted job in the world. The most decorated athlete in Olympic history,Michael Phelps with 22 medals,smoked pot. The list is long.