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Three In Five Americans Say Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol Or Tobacco, Survey Finds



Nearly three in five Americans consider alcohol or tobacco to be “more harmful” to a person’s health than marijuana, according to a new poll.

The YouGov survey that was released on Thursday asked respondents about a variety of cannabis use trends. One of the more telling findings is that 64 percent of Americans consider regular alcohol use more dangerous than cannabis, while 63 percent said the same about tobacco.

Only 14 percent said marijuana use is more problematic than regular alcohol use. Another 16 percent said cannabis was more dangerous than tobacco.

Overall, 53 percent of respondents said they believe both alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than marijuana.

The sentiment is consistent with other recent polling. For example, a Gallup survey released last year found that Americans consider marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes, vapes and other tobacco products. And at the same time, cannabis use has “surpassed cigarette usage in the U.S., while vaping still trails both,” it said.

Another poll published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) last year similarly showed that people increasingly view smoking marijuana or being exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke as safer than smoking or being near tobacco smoke.

Meanwhile, the new YouGov poll also found broadly that 62 percent of Americans think cannabis should be legalized. That includes 71 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans.

In terms of frequency of use, more than half of Americans (56 percent) said they’ve tried marijuana “at some point in their lives,” 24 percent said they’ve consumed cannabis in the past year and 17 percent has used it in the past month.

Among past-year consumers, 24 percent reported using cannabis multiple times in a day, 11 percent said they used once per day and 20 percent consumed “a few times a week.”

“What formats of cannabis consumption are most common? The most popular method, among the 60 percent of Americans who have ever tried marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD, an active ingredient in marijuana), is smoking flower or bud: 61 percent of this group—and 37 percent of Americans overall—say they’ve ingested it this way,” YouGov said.

If marijuana was legalized nationwide, 67 percent of respondents who haven’t used cannabis said they would continue to abstain. Another 14 percent said they “probably” wouldn’t try it, while six percent said they “probably” would use cannabis and two percent said they “definitely” would.

The poll involved interviews with 1,148 adults from April 5-8.

Meanwhile, another new survey of Americans’ habits, opinions and expectations around cannabis finds that nearly six in 10 adults are “surprised marijuana hasn’t been legalized across the United States yet.”

Nine in 10 Americans say marijuana should be legal for recreational or medical purposes, a Pew Research Center poll that was released last month found. And most agree that legalization bolsters local economies and makes the criminal justice system more fair.

Pew also released a separate report in February that found eight in 10 Americans now live in a county with at least one marijuana dispensary. The analysis also shows that high concentrations of retailers often “cluster” near borders abutting other states that have “less permissive cannabis laws”—indicating that there’s a large market of people who live in still-criminalized jurisdictions who cross state lines to purchase regulated products.

A different poll from Gallup that was released last week found that rates of marijuana use are nearly the same in states that have legalized versus those that maintain prohibition, which suggests that “criminalization does little to curtail its use.”

South Carolina Lawmakers Will Take Up Senate-Passed Medical Marijuana Bill This Week, Earning Praise From GOP Congresswoman

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