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Maryland Poll: Majority Support For Marijuana Legalization, Marijuana Safer Than Sugar


Maryland medical marijuanaMaryland is high on my list of states that are next to legalize marijuana. Maryland has a great shot of being the first state in America to legalize marijuana via a legislative action, as opposed to via the initiative process. Efforts in Maryland got a boost this week from a poll which found that a majority of Marylanders support marijuana legalization. The poll also found that Marylanders consider marijuana to be safer than sugar. Per Goucher.Edu:

Fifty-two percent of Marylanders support making the use of marijuana legal in Maryland; 44 percent oppose.

When asked which substance is the most harmful to a person’s overall health, 46 percent say tobacco is the most harmful, followed by alcohol (22 percent), and sugar (13 percent). Eight percent think marijuana is more harmful to a person’s overall health than tobacco, alcohol, or sugar.

Fifty-five percent disagree that marijuana is a “gateway drug”—i.e., it leads to the use of hard drugs; 43 percent of respondents agree.

I like the questions that the poll asked. You always see polls dealing with marijuana legalization, but it’s fairly rare to see followup questions being asked. I’m kind of disappointed that only 55% of poll participants disagree with the gateway drug theory. However, it’s still a clear majority, and I think that number could rise as activists in Maryland continue to educate the public.


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Johnny Green


  1. Tanya Jayden on

    I hope so. They just obtained a search and seizure warrant in my home stating they smelled weed. Smh. It helps me with my panic attacks

  2. Our state has a tremendous opportunity to be leaders in this new industry (Medicinal Marijuana).Although it is Medical based our policies are very liberal; example anyone from any state can access our program (receive a medical card). We also offer some of the lowest fees for those (entrepreneurs ) hoping to have steak in this industry. There is a meet-up/ fundraiser/networking event taking place in the heart of downtown Silver Spring May 26 between 6-8pm discussing the “Business of Medicinal Marijuana” at the civic center. I will be there.

  3. I agree with you! Maryland is coming close and you’d be surprised how many successful busy owners in maryland smoke marijuana on the weekends. It is more out there than you think. We just need to have this poll available for all marylanders.

    Coming from a contractor who works in Bethesda, Potomac and surrounding areas

  4. I have read most the comment on this article, most favor of the legalization of marijuana. This is not so strange since this is a site that is pro-cannabis. So Am I. The real problem is that the 58% that are in favor do not show up to the polls, only about 10% go vote. The 38% anti get almost 70-80 percent to the polls; hence, why you have republican leadership. My advice is get off your butt go to the polls and vote, you are not going to change things only by writing comments.

  5. Go Vote! Next year elections are coming up. Vote for someone that supports your point of view.

  6. I live in Maryland and it does have a good shot of passing, but there’s now a Republican governor. A real Republican would be in favor of less government intervention in citizens’ lives. But most Republicans are full of shit, they’re nothing but cheap labor conservatives.

  7. Stephen Marshall on

    Legalize medical marijuana in maryland and everywhere! Not only has no one ever died from the herb, its Healthier than alcohol, ciggaretts and every other pharmaceutical/black market drug.

    This 70+ year drug war does more harm to the nation than good

  8. Todd McKenzie on

    This won’t happen this year. It would be nice, and D.C. being legal can’t hurt, but there are too many law makers in office that will vote against it.

  9. That inspite of the fact that the sky would need to fall a mile less in Denver than anywhere else!

  10. I have been struggling with severe pain in aryland and have been using a combination of narcotics and marijuana just to feel at ease enough to not be crying or yelling while just standing, sitting or walking, not working makes this very expensive, this legalization needs to hurry up so people like me can grow their own supply and stay away from the dirty market we dont want to deal with. Marijuana is a miracle drug to me:
    -Stops the muscle spasms almost near instantly ( nothing else does this not even the 20mg flexeril)
    -Takes the pain down 2-3 notches
    Relaxes muscles to reduce or remove spasms all together
    It allows me to sleep more than two hours

  11. No, no they are not. In fact that statement is quite laughable.

    Ignoring all other forms of liberalism other than marijuana support, California would have legalized first if Prop 19 had been in a pres. election year; it actually had a majority support until the last 2 weeks before the election when Pharma/Tobacco/Alcohol tossed millions into the anti-19 campaign. Dont forget it was the first state to allow medical MJ, and currently anyone who is capable of saying the word “ouch” is allowed to get a MMJ card in California for about $30.

    They will legalize in 2016, and Im hoping they take extra steps CO and WA didn’t take and set up large scale outdoor farming regulations. Then they can supply the entire country with produce and weed! (that is assuming they still have the water for it…).

  12. Maryland also just voted in a Republican Governor, So they aren’t as Liberal as you think. Md. also has a huge Medical program that is beginning next year. This State is ready for full legalization.

  13. Fifty-five percent disagree that marijuana is a “gateway drug”—i.e., it leads to the use of hard drugs; 43 percent of respondents agree.

    43% are drinking the government funded Kool-aid.

    If prohibition has any effect, it makes cannabis a gateway to other illicit drugs.

    The gateway drug theory, that a pharmacological effect of cannabis leads to the use of hard drugs, has been discredited by the many peer reviewed studies which have examined it.[1,2,3,4,5,6,14,15,16,19]

    If the gateway theory were to have any merit, then alcohol and tobacco would be the gateway drugs as nearly all have tried these before cannabis.[1,6] There are many factors that determine which illicit substance will be used first, including availability and culture. In Japan, where cannabis use is not popular and largely frowned upon, 83% of illicit drug users did not use illicit cannabis first.[19] In the U.S., since cannabis is by far the most popular and available illegal recreational substance, it is unlikely that you would find many illicit hard drug users who did not encounter and use illicit cannabis first.[1] This does not mean cannabis caused their hard drug use. Rather it was their pre-existing interest in recreational substances combined with their willingness to try illicit substances and cannabis was simply, and predictably, the first encountered.[3,14,19] On a related note, studies have shown that cannabinoids can help treat those addicted to hard drugs and alcohol.[4,7,18]

    If anything, the prohibition of cannabis makes the hard drug problem worse. Once someone breaks the law to try the very popular and relatively safe drug cannabis, their reluctance to try another illegal substance diminishes. This is both because of their increased doubts of government honesty as to the harmful effects of those substances as well, and their newly reduced respect for the laws against them. Cannabis prohibition also connects cannabis consumers to the hard drug market. Imagine if beer merchants also sold heroin, cocaine and meth. This is the situation that the prohibition of cannabis creates for its consumers. It places a very popular substance into these otherwise unpopular markets, strengthening them and expanding their reach. Also, with no legal recourse to resolve disputes, cannabis prohibition increases the crime associated with these markets. The promotion of the erroneous gateway theory ultimately does the public a disservice, including the hindering of intervention.[19]

    Regardless, one of the biggest concerns is that relaxed laws will lead to increased teen usage, but this has not been the case. Legalizing medical cannabis in the U.S. has not increased cannabis usage in teens.[8,9,10,11] Even decriminalization does not result in increased cannabis consumption overall except for a small, temporary increase during the first few years.[12,13] Portugal even saw reduced adolescent cannabis use after decriminalizing all drugs in 2001.[17]


    1. Joy et al. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Institute of Medicine. 1999.
    2. Morral et al. Reassessing the marijuana gateway effect. Drug Policy Research Center, RAND. Addiction. 2002.
    3. Cleveland HH & Wiebe RP. Understanding the association between adolescent marijuana use and later serious drug use: gateway effect or developmental trajectory? Dev Psychopathol. 2008.
    4. O’Connell TJ & Bou-Matar CB. Long term marijuana users seeking medical cannabis in California (2001–2007): demographics, social characteristics, patterns of cannabis and other drug use of 4117 applicants. Harm Reduction Journal. 2007.
    5. Wen et al. The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use. The National Bureau of Economic Research. 2014.
    6. Tristan et al. Alcohol as a Gateway Drug: A Study of US 12th Graders. Journal of School Health. 2012.
    7. Oliere et al. Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System: Vulnerability Factor and New Treatment Target for Stimulant Addiction. Front Psychiatry. 2013. Review.
    8. Choo et al. The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2014.
    9. Lynne-Landsman et al. Effects of state medical marijuana laws on adolescent marijuana use. Am J Public Health. 2013.
    10. Harper et al. Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension. Ann Epidemiol. 2012.
    11. Anderson et al. Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use. IZA 2012.
    12. Williams J, Bretteville-Jensen AL. Does liberalizing cannabis laws increase cannabis use? J Health Econ. 2014.
    13. Single EW. The impact of marijuana decriminalization: an update. J Public Health Policy. 1989.
    14. Tarter et al. Predictors of Marijuana Use in Adolescents Before and After Licit Drug Use: Examination of the Gateway Hypothesis. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 2006.
    15. Van Gundy K & Rebellon CJ. A Life-course Perspective on the “Gateway Hypothesis”. J Health Soc Behav. 2010.
    16. Tarter et al. Predictors ofmarijuana use in adolescents before and after licit drug use: examination of the gateway hypothesis. Am J Psychiatry. 2006.
    17. Hughes C E and Stevens A. What Can We Learn From The Portuguese Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs?. Brit J Criminol. 2010.
    18. Reiman A. Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs. Harm Reduct J. 2009.
    19. Vanyukov et al. Common liability to addiction and “gateway hypothesis”: theoretical, empirical and evolutionary perspective. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012. Review.

  14. Study Claims Weed 114 Times Safer Than Alcohol
    a finding that should give new ammunition to those fighting for the legalization of marijuana, a study has determined pot is far safer than alcohol, and is in fact 114 times less deadly.

    That fact that you are far less likely to die from overdosing on marijuana than from alcohol is seen as likely to be cited by those who say marijuana should be legalized and controlled just as alcohol is.

    In the study, led by British researcher David Nutt, the risk levels associated with substances including marijuana, alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstasy were compared using an approach known as the margin of exposure, which compares lethal doses of a substance with the amount normally consumed by recreational users of the substance.

    The mortality risk represented by cannabis was approximately 114 times less than that of alcohol, the study found, and in fact pot was the single substance rated as “low risk” by the researchers.

    Alcohol, along with heroin, cocaine and nicotine, was classified as “high risk,” they reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

  15. Legalize Worldwide. The decades of moronic cannabis prohibition needs to end. Citizens deserve a safer choice to alcohol and pharmaceuticals and do NOT deserve to be locked up for it.

  16. Go Maryland!!! Legalization in all states, in need to look up missisippi, you all were on my homepage, so i clicked and read, 1000% with you , i will be back to this site. GO Green!!!

  17. Maryland is more liberal than California. With only 52% support in MD, its hopeless for nationwide legalization.

  18. Wow 8% people believe that Marijuana is more harmful than cigarettes. Crazy. We’re they die hard tobacco smokers or just completely ignorant? One things for sure they believe the propaganda. Hey hears a novel idea what if the government thinks we’re all idiots and t h e can lie to us when ever they want. Why not what would we do about it? We keep voting the same people back in. I know I probably pissed someone off so let me say I love my country, and some politicians do do good work. But they do lie about some things, sometimes.

  19. Legalization needs 55% support to either influence politicians or make the passage of a referendum highly likely. Look at it this way – 52% with a MOE of 4% could mean it only has 48% support. Not good enough. I start feeling comfortable around 56%. And very comfortable at 60%.

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