A new Gallup poll asked U.S. citizens about six different types of products, five of which were nicotine-based and one cannabis as a whole. With every substance it was asked if the consumer saw it as “very harmful,” “somewhat harmful,” “not too harmful” or “not at all” harmful. Though cannabis wasn’t seen as “not at all” harmful across the board, it is clear that public opinion about weed is much higher than that of cigs.
By far, cigarettes were perceived to be the most harmful, with 82 percent of respondents saying that they are very harmful, another 14 percent somewhat harmful and an outlying 1 percent who said that they are not at all harmful. The most surprising thing about these stats is that only 82 percent see cigarettes as very harmful. It’s a jump from the 1950s, when smoking was more the norm, but these days, the Truth Campaign has done due diligence and scared most of the population with their gruesome commercials
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The most socially acceptable form of ingesting nicotine was not chewing tobacco or cigars, but e-cigarettes or vaping, which makes sense. There is also an argument being made on the cannabis side of things that vaping weed is a healthier delivery system than smoking it outright.
Though cannabis wasn’t broken down into categories in the poll, maybe it’s not quite time to ask America about their opinions on things like edibles, tinctures, salves, vaping and smoking respectively. There really hasn’t been enough research in those arenas to back up anecdotal evidence, mostly because of pot’s status as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical use and a high potential for abuse, which is utter bull no matter how you take it.
The folks over at Gallup thought that cannabis in general was a fit for the survey, however, and the results, though mixed, showed that U.S. residents don’t see cannabis as being all that harmful and certainly not as harmful as cigarettes. 42 percent said not too harmful or not at all, leaving 29 percent with some concerns and 27 percent still pounding the drug war path with very harmful.
Some concern is natural, though, and the important thing to take away from this survey is that public opinion has changed drastically over the last two decades. Marijuana went from public enemy number one to a plant that not everyone’s quite sure about, but that is being seen in a brighter, clearer light that illuminates its not at all harmful qualities.