The Associated Press and CNBC jointly released a new poll about American attitudes toward marijuana under the headline “Legalization: More Americans Say ‘No’”. Now, reading this, you might think that the majority of Americans are against legalizing marijuana, but this is a textbook example of how you can skew survey results by cunning choice of survey questions.
The question in question?
Do you favor, oppose or neither favor nor oppose the complete legalization of the use of marijuana for any purpose?
But in their special report, they don’t mention that when asked about marijuana and alcohol, 56% of the people questioned wanted marijuana to be treated the same as alcohol or wanted marijuana to be more legal than alcohol. But to see that result, you have to read the full report on the survey.
So, duh! Americans don’t want weed to be absolutely completely legal for any reason, the same as what we currently have for alcohol, tobacco, or other mostly legal drugs. After all, marijuana is widely considered to be less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco.
The real question is, why did AP and CNBC word the first question the way they did, and why did they (and the rest of the media) report it the way they did?