Americans think sugar is scarier than weed, poll finds

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked 449 people which they considered most harmful: tobacco, alcohol, sugar, or marijuana.
January 22, 2018, 6:17pm

Americans don’t think weed is that dangerous. In fact, they’re more scared about sugar, according to a new poll.

NBC News and the Wall Street Journal asked 449 people which of the following they considered most harmful: tobacco, alcohol, sugar, or marijuana. With roughly 9 percent of the vote, weed came in at the bottom of the list. Sugar came in third at 21 percent. (A weed cupcake must be really worrisome for some people.)


Twenty-four percent of respondents voted alcohol the most dangerous, and tobacco took the top spot with 41 percent of respondents calling it the most harmful.

But it's not like Americans were that concerned about weed before, either.

In 2014, the same poll found the same result: Weed got the smallest percent of the vote, that time 8 percent. That was even before states like California, Massachusetts, and Nevada joined the recreational weed world. Sugar, however, shifted up this year from 15 percent in 2014. Tobacco was considered most dangerous then, too, with nearly half the vote.

The consistent feelings on weed’s safety come at a time when Americans are warming up to legalization. About 60 percent of respondents in the 2018 NBC/WSJ poll, which was conducted over five days in the middle of January, said they’re in favor of legal weed. That’s up from 55 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, the federal government has started cracking down on legal weed, setting up a battle over federalism. At the same time, states have launched a flurry of decriminalization bills in Congress and pushed ahead with legalization efforts in states like Vermont, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

Social image: Assorted cupcakes are displayed for sale in celebration of the 4/20 holiday at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)