(reprinted from NORML News of the Week 9/3/09)
Ashbury Park, NJ: Slightly more than half of American adults believe that alcohol is "more dangerous" than marijuana, according to a national telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters by the polling firm Rasmussen Reports.
Fifty-one percent of respondents, including a majority of women, rated the use of marijuana to be less dangerous than alcohol. Only 19 percent of those polled said that cannabis is the more dangerous of the two substances.
Twenty-five percent of respondents said that both substances are equally dangerous.
Commenting on the poll results NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink, said: "By almost any objectively measurable standard, cannabis is safer than booze – both to the individual consumer and to society as a whole. However, given our government's longstanding demonization of the cannabis plant and its users it is remarkable that anyone – much less over half of America – recognizes this fact. Ideally, these survey results will spark a long-overdue dialogue in this country asking why our laws target and prosecute those who choose to possess and consume the less dangerous of these two popular substances."
A previous survey conducted by Zogby in 2002 reported that most Americans believe that cannabis is less dangerous than either alcohol or tobacco.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.