Survey Finds Majority of Americans View Cannabis As Less Harmful Than Alcohol

The country’s evolved attitudes toward marijuana has brought a majority of Americans to the conclusion that legalization advocates have preached for decades: alcohol is more dangerous than pot.

That is the takeaway of new survey data published recently in the journal Addictive Behavior, which showed that a majority of United States consumers believe marijuana to bring less potential for abuse than both alcohol and prescription drugs. 

“A majority of the public perceives THC and marijuana as grouped together with prescription medications rather than with illicit substances and as having more medical value and less abuse potential than alcohol,” the researchers wrote. 

They contended that the survey’s results “provide evidence that U.S. consumers would not classify any of the Cannabis derivatives as Schedule I substances,” marijuana’s classification on the Controlled Substances Act, the law that enshrines pot’s status as an illegal substance on the federal level.

“It follows that agencies such as the DEA and FDA need to understand public perceptions and uses of these substances,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion. “This is the first study, to our knowledge, to identify perceptions of Cannabis derivatives among U.S. consumers at the intersection of medical use and potential for abuse. These results

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