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7 Ways Booze Is More Dangerous Than Pot

Pot is statistically less harmful than alcohol, and it's time to treat it that way.
 
 
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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/maradonna 8888

 
 
 
 

No substantial evidence links marijuana to traffic accidents, domestic violence or cancer, yet pot is illegal and listed as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Meanwhile, alcohol remains legal despite the fact that it has been proven to contribute to many societal ills, including domestic violence and auto accidents. 

In 2011 alone, an individual in the U.S. was arrested for marijuana use, sale or possession every 42 seconds , according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program . Those numbers have been climbing.

Some of the obvious hypocrisy inherent to marijuana prohibition is highlighted in a commercial (see below) that ran a brief stint before NASCAR audiences last month, until it was removed to preserve the "family atmosphere” of the event, according to race organizers. The ad space for the commercial was purchased by the  Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest marijuana legalization advocacy group in the states, and the creators of the commercial.

The Huffington Post reported that MPP celebrated the commercial as:

“... the first time a pro-pot campaign would be seen at a major sporting event. Organizers for the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway disputed that claim, noting that the boards set to display the commercial were not technically on stadium grounds. When officials with the company that had allowed MPP to purchase air time caught wind of its pro-marijuana message, they scrambled to take it down.”

In 31 seconds, the ad points to a series of clearcut ways pot is statistically less harmful than alcohol. The commercial has received more than 944,500 YouTube hits and made the rounds on Facebook.

It begins with the line: “If you’re an adult who enjoys a good beer, there’s a similar product you might want to know about—one without all the calories or serious health problems, less toxic so it doesn't cause hangovers or overdose deaths, and it’s not linked to violence or reckless behavior.”

That product, of course, is marijuana. MPP created the commercial in an effort to clarify some of the myths and misconceptions that taint marijuana’s reputation—misconceptions MPP says are perpetuated by the U.S. government.

On its site, MPP states,

“If you’re like most Americans, you have been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug that has destroyed the lives of millions of teens and adults. You have been encouraged to believe that marijuana causes lung cancer and is a ‘gateway’ to harder drugs. The government has even tried to convince you that most people who use marijuana are losers who sit around on couches all day doing nothing.”

MPP says its goal is to “wipe the slate clean” and replace fiction with  facts about marijuana use. “We simply hope you will come to understand that it is far, far less harmful than what your government has told you,” the text states. The MPP website goes on to describes the common recreational uses of marijuana, which are similar to alcohol consumption patterns:

“None of this is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral.’ It is simply something that these responsible adults choose to do. And frequently, it is something they choose to do specifically instead of alcohol. And for good reason! Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, more harmful to the body, more likely to result in injuries, and more likely to lead to interpersonal violence than marijuana.”

The page also includes the following bulleted list comparing alcohol to marijuana:

1. Many people die from alcohol use. Nobody dies from marijuana use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths are attributed to alcohol use alone (this figure does not include accidental deaths). On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana.