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Drugs

Bar Fight! The Booze Industry is Furious over Campaigns Saying Weed is Safer than Alcohol

Booze lobbyists are becoming more and more pissed off at marijuana advocates as legalization sweeps the country.

Booze lobbyists are becoming more and more pissed off at marijuana as legalization sweeps the country, the National Journal reported.  

In the buildup to this weeks’ pot victory in Portland, Maine, the Marijuana Policy Project put up signs around the city which read: “I prefer marijuana over alcohol because it doesn't make me rowdy or reckless," and "I prefer marijuana over alcohol because it's less harmful to my body.”

In response, the alcohol lobby freaked out. Chris Thorne at the Beer Institute told National Journal that it’s a red herring to compare alcohol to pot. 

"We believe it's misleading to compare marijuana to beer," he said, "Beer is distinctly different both as a product and an industry.  Factually speaking beer has been a welcome part of American life for a long time.  The vast majority drinks responsibly, so having caricatures won't really influence people,” he said.

However, according to Marijuana.com, the alcohol industry is merely "whining" because they fear competition from marijuana. According ot the site, it's actually the alcohol lobby that first began spending money and running campaigns to demonize recreational marijuana consumption.

Moreover, the Marijuana Project Policy argues that the premise is valid: excessive alcohol use is the third-leading life-style related cause of death.

A recent paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology which compared the relative physical, psychological, and social harms of cannabis and alcohol found: "A direct comparison of alcohol and cannabis showed that alcohol was considered to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to [individual] users, and five times more harmful as cannabis to others (society),” HuffPost reported.
 
The fierce debate is likely to continue as more and more states seek to legalize marijuana. Perhaps members of the booze lobby might want to try to relax with a cold one ... or, better yet, a nice legal puff or two.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

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