A large majority of Americans from all backgrounds, age ranges, and political affiliations are confident that cannabis is not a “very harmful” substance, with even more saying that they believe CBD is safe.
The new data comes from a joint survey by Harvard University and Politico that tallied opinions from more than 1,000 American adults. The poll covered cannabis, CBD, alcohol, and tobacco, with most respondents saying that they believe marijuana and CBD to be far less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, or e-cigs.
Only 20% of survey respondents said that they thought cannabis was “very harmful” and only 5% said the same of CBD. On the flip side, twice as many people considered alcohol to be “very harmful,” while more than 80% felt that tobacco cigarettes were incredibly dangerous.
“Ten years ago, we were jailing people for marijuana,” Robert Blendon, who led the survey and is also a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard, told Politico. “Now people see this as not essentially very harmful.”
Gallery — Celebrities You Probably Didn't Know Smoke Pot:
The survey also asked recipients about their opinions on e-cigarettes or nicotine vaporizers. And while respondents did not hold e-cigs to the same harmful standard as traditional cigarettes, more than 50% considered nicotine vaporizers “very harmful.”
On a whole, 62% of Americans said that they support full-scale recreational cannabis legalization in the US. Additionally, more than 75% of respondents said that they believe CBD products should be sold in drugstores like CVS and Walgreens.
“Given that most Americans are not very concerned about harmful effects of marijuana for recreational use,” the study concluded, “we are likely to see legalization efforts expanded at both the federal and state levels.”
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter