Poll: Americans Think Sugar Is More Harmful Than Marijuana

Americans believe sugar is more harmful than marijuana, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Wednesday.

When asked which substance had the most detrimental effect on health — tobacco, alcohol, sugar or marijuana — only eight percent identified marijuana.

Fifteen percent responded that sugar was the most harmful, however, while 49 percent said tobacco was the worst and 24 percent said alcohol was the most harmful.

Americans increasingly support legalizing marijuana use. In October 2013, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans said the drug should be legal, up from 50 percent in 2011 and only 12 percent in 1969.

The new WSJ/NBC poll also found that young Americans read more about legalizing marijuana in the news than they do about the situation in Ukraine or Obamacare. Among adults age 18-35, 57 percent said they had read about marijuana, while only 44 percent said they had read a lot about Obamacare and 39 percent said they read about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The WSJ/NBC poll surveyed 1,000 adults via phone March 5-9 with a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: