Maryland 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.