Americans Think Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol


A new poll from YouGov discovered that three-in-five Americans think marijuana is safer than alcohol or tobacco—and that a majority support legalizing cannabis.

According to the study, YouGov asked Americans about their own experiences with marijuana and whether they believe it should be made legal nationwide. The majority say they have used marijuana, think it is safe, believe it is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, want to see it legalized and think legalization would be good for the economy.

Positive Experiences with Marijuana

Most Americans (53%) don’t believe that using marijuana leads to the use of hard drugs, while 27% think it does. Among those who have never tried marijuana, 29% don’t believe that it leads to the use of hard drugs while 43% think it does, the study states.

Sixty-four percent of Americans think that regular alcohol use is more harmful to a person’s health than regular marijuana use. A similar number (63%) think regular tobacco use is more harmful than regular marijuana use, and 53% say that both alcohol and tobacco are more harmful, according to the study.

Most Americans have tried marijuana — and of that group, majorities have found it to be a positive experience, a safe one and one with perceived health benefits. Sixty-two percent of Americans think the use of marijuana should be made legal in the U.S. Democrats (71%) and Independents (67%) are more likely than Republicans (46%) to say it should be legalized, the study states.

Americans Think Legalizing Marijuana Could Boost U.S. Economy

Most Americans (52%) think the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. would be good for the economy. In addition, the study also found that there is widespread support for expunging marijuana-related convictions for non-violent offenders. Fifty-eight percent of Americans would support this, including 67% of Democrats and 48% of Republicans.