Poll: More Americans say sugar is worse than pot as health risk

Sugar vs. marijuana
A recent survey found that some people believe sugar is more harmful to your health than marijuana.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Is that post-lunch cookie really worse for you than smoking a joint? Some Americans think so. 

NBC News and the Wall Street Journal conducted a survey of 1,000 people age 18 and older. They asked participants which of a number of substances was most harmful to a person’s overall health. Choices included marijuana, sugar, alcohol and tobacco.

The survey found that 49% of respondents said they believed tobacco to be the most harmful, followed by 24% selecting alcohol and 15% choosing sugar. It reported that 8% of respondents said they thought marijuana was the most harmful substance.

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana in the same category as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy.  


“Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence,” according to the DEA website

People may see sugar as a greater threat in the wake of recent studies and media reports devoted to obesity, diabetes and the negative effects of consuming sugar in high quantities. 

The survey was conducted March 5-9 by Bill McInturff at Public Opinion Strategies and Fred Yang at Hart Research Associates.  

Want more quirky food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_



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