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Lies About Marijuana Drive People to a Much More Harmful Drug -- Booze

Anti-pot propaganda drives most people to drink alcohol instead. But booze is far more dangerous than marijuana.

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"The greatest concern to parents,”  he said, “should be that their children do not get completely off their heads with alcohol because it can kill them ... and it leads them to do things which are very dangerous, such as to kill themselves or others in cars, get into fights, get raped, and engage in other activities which they regret subsequently. My view is that, if you want to reduce the harm to society from drugs, alcohol is the drug to target at present."  

Our nation's leaders might think this is a game, but it isn’t.  There are children and adults seriously suffering and even dying because of alcohol, and it is time our leaders started being honest and realistic about how it compares to marijuana – both in terms of public education and public policies.  Neither propaganda nor policy should be used to steer adults – or teens, for that matter – toward alcohol instead of marijuana.  This does not mean that marijuana is harmless; it simply means, and all of the evidence indicates, that it is less harmful than alcohol.  

And no one should be fired for saying that.  


Steve Fox is the director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, August 2009).

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