Poll: Marijuana seen as less harmful than alcohol, tobacco

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Similar to President Obama, the public sees marijuana as no more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol, according to a new poll. 

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A Wall Street Journal-NBC poll released Wednesday found marijuana is seen as the least harmful of four substances listed. 

Tobacco rated as most harmful with 49 percent, followed by alcohol, which totaled 24 percent. More people even said sugar is more harmful than marijuana. Fifteen percent chose sugar, while only 8 percent said marijuana. 

In an interview earlier this year with The New Yorker, Obama said he viewed his youthful pot smoking as “a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”

Obama added that he did not think it is more dangerous than alcohol, but has told his daughters it is a waste of time and not very healthy.

The poll also found more young people (57 percent) have followed the marijuana legalization fight than most other major news stories, including the ObamaCare rollout (44 percent), the situation in Ukraine (39 percent) or the gay marriage debate (34 percent). 

Other recent polling has shown a slim majority is now in favor of marijuana legalization, which has already happened in two states. 

The poll surveyed 1,000 people and has a 3.1 percentage point margin of error.