Marijuana Is Safer, Updated and Expanded Edition
So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
Foreword by Norm Stamper
"As one who has been entrusted with maintaining the public's safety, I strongly believe — and most people agree — that our laws should punish people who do harm to others. But by banning the use of marijuana and punishing individuals who merely possess the substance, it is difficult to see what harm we are trying to prevent. From my own work and the experiences of other members of the law enforcement community, it is abundantly clear that marijuana is rarely, if ever, the cause of disruptive or violent behavior. That marijuana causes very little social harm is reason enough in a free society to legalize it for adults. But as Steve, Paul, and Mason so brilliantly demonstrate in this book, an even more persuasive reason is that by prohibiting marijuana we are steering people toward a substance that far too many people already abuse, namely alcohol."
—Norm Stamper, former Chief of the Seattle Police Department
In 2012, voters in Colorado shocked the nation’s political establishment by making the use of marijuana legal for anyone in the state twenty-one years of age or older.
In the wake of that unprecedented victory, nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert revisit the “Marijuana Is Safer” message that contributed to the campaign’s success—as the first edition of this book predicted in 2009.
This updated and expanded version of Marijuana Is Safer includes a new chapter on the Colorado victory and information about how supporters can model similar campaigns in other states, along with updates to research that supports the position that marijuana is safer than alcohol.
The authors—through an objective examination of marijuana and alcohol, and the laws and social practices that steer people toward the latter—pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol?
Marijuana Is Safer provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, debunks some of the government’s most frequently cited marijuana myths, and, most importantly, provides persuasive arguments and talking points for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuana-policy reform and educate friends, family, coworkers, elected officials, and, of course, future voters.