Welcome to 2018, where more Americans than ever favor the legalization of marijuana. While many thought the day would never come, nearly every poll that’s been taken over the past few years show that the support of marijuana legalization in the country is steadily increasing.
Marijuana Believed to Be Less Harmful Than Booze, Sugar, and Cigs
Take the most recent poll released by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News, for example. A telephone poll, conducted over a period of 5 days in mid-January, asked 449 respondents what they deemed to be the most harmful: tobacco, alcohol, sugar, or marijuana.
Marijuana came in last with 9 percent of the votes.
Of the respondents, 41 percent believed that tobacco was the worst of the four, 24 percent believed alcohol was most dangerous, and 21 percent listed sugar to be the most harmful of all.
Americans might just be on to something.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths in the US each year. It’s estimated that alcohol is responsible for 88,000 fatalities annually. Sugar is responsible for a myriad of health issues including heart disease, obesity, and cancer…all of which are associated with innumerable fatalities each year.
The number of deaths associated with marijuana? Zero.
Not Only Do Americans Think Weed is Harmless…But (Most) Want to See it Legalized
The same poll was conducted in 2014, with very similar results. Everyone who responded deemed weed the safest as all, with only 8 percent of respondents considering it the most harmful of the four substances in question. In the same year, 15 percent believed sugar was the most dangerous. And 55 percent of respondents thought weed should be legalized.
Despite the heavy pushback of legal marijuana from the federal government, the majority of US citizens think weed should be legalized. 60 percent of this year’s poll respondents were in favor of legal weed.
Cigarettes are deadly, alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and sugar is related to countless health problems and is added to everything. One thing they all have in common? Each one is legal (and readily available) basically everywhere in the US. Marijuana not so much.
While the public view of marijuana is undoubtedly changing, we’ve still got to wonder about the 9 percent of respondents who still believe weed is really that bad. Old archetypes, like old habits, sometimes die hard.