All marijuana is dangerous, in any amount, but alcohol is just dandy. This is the message the Obama White House and Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske are sending to America. Well, says author Mason Tvert (Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?), that just isn’t true. But it seems the President and his cabinet aren’t prepared to have a rational discussion of US drug policy.
In this article from The Huffington Post, Tvert blasts the White House’s propaganda campaign against a substance that is much safer than alcohol.
At a press conference in California last week, President Barack Obama’s new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske declared:
“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.”
Meanwhile, the President was at the White House trying to defuse the situation surrounding the controversial and highly publicized arrest of his friend, Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., by inviting him and the arresting officer, Sgt. Jim Crowley, to the White House for a beer.
Yes, that’s right. Just after President Obama’s top drug policy official told the country that marijuana is “dangerous,” the President himself was touting the enjoyable effects of alcohol, a far more dangerous substance. But don’t take my word for it. Just look at every objective study that has ever been conducted on the two drugs, including these:
- According to the American Scientist, the magazine of the Scientific Research Society, alcohol is among the most toxic recreational drugs, requiring just 10 times its typical effective dose to cause death. Marijuana, on the other hand, is among the least toxic recreational drugs, requiring more than 1,000 times the effective dose to cause death.
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), alcohol is the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States, with about 35,000 deaths attributed to its use each year, including hundreds from accidental overdose. The CDC does not report any deaths attributable to the use of marijuana, and there has never been a single documented case of a fatal marijuana overdose in history.
- According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), alcohol use is associated with an elevated relative risk of injuries, whereas the Journal of Trauma reports that marijuana use is not associated with such risk.
- According to the Research Institute on Addictions, alcohol is “clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-violence relationship,” whereas marijuana “reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxication.” Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that about 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which victims perceive the offender to have been drinking at the time of the offense. This works out to about 8,200 alcohol-related violent crimes a day!
- According to a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, alcohol use is associated with “significant increases in the daily likelihood of male-to-female physical aggression,” whereas marijuana use is “not significantly associated.” In fact, researchers at the U.S. Department of Justice found that two-thirds of victims who suffer violence by an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been a factor.
- According to a study commissioned by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol.
The facts go on and on, and so could I, but you get the point. Our president, however… well… not so much.