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Young People Know Marijuana Is Less Harmful to Society Than Alcohol

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Young people think marijuana does much less harm to society than alcohol or tobacco. According to a Rare pollof adults 40 and younger, 47 percent believe alcohol does more harm to society, 27 percent think tobacco does, and only 13 percent picked marijuana as the most harmful of the three.

In addition, very young adults are the more likely they are to see alcohol as more harmful than weed. Among adults age 36-40 the ratio was only 33 percent to 24 percent, but among those under the age of 30 the ratio was an incredible 52 percent to 9 percent.

I’m not surprised that young people feel this way because it is the truth. While it is possible to cause harm by misusing or abusing almost any substance, any objective analysis indicates alcohol use does much more harm to society than marijuana use.

Alcohol significantly impairs judgement and driving ability, which makes it a big cause of accidents. It is relatively easy to overdose on. Long-term heavy can also cause significant damage to vital organs, which is why it is responsible for thousands of deaths a year. This is not to say marijuana is completely without problems, just that it cause fewer problems.

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

Photo by Eduardo Fonseca Arraes under Creative Commons license

CommunityJust Say Now

Young People Know Marijuana Is Less Harmful to Society Than Alcohol

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Young people think marijuana does much less harm to society than alcohol or tobacco. According to a Rare poll of adults 40 and younger, 47 percent believe alcohol does more harm to society, 27 percent think tobacco does, and only 13 percent picked marijuana as the most harmful of the three.

In addition, very young adults are the more likely they are to see alcohol as more harmful than weed. Among adults age 36-40 the ratio was only 33 percent to 24 percent, but among those under the age of 30 the ratio was an incredible 52 percent to 9 percent.

I’m not surprised that young people feel this way because it is the truth. While it is possible to cause harm by misusing or abusing almost any substance, any objective analysis indicates alcohol use does much more harm to society than marijuana use.

Alcohol significantly impairs judgement and driving ability, which makes it a big cause of accidents. It is relatively easy to overdose on. Long-term heavy can also cause significant damage to vital organs, which is why it is responsible for thousands of deaths a year. This is not to say marijuana is completely without problems, just that it cause fewer problems.

Part of the reason that marijuana reform efforts have started making strides in the past few years is the government propaganda can no longer obscure this basic fact.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy (more…)

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com