Reuters: Driven To Drink By Marijuana Laws?

Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann ‘gets it.’
In a society awash in alcohol, he dares to ask the pivotal question:
Why do our laws embrace and celebrate the use of alcohol, an intoxicant that directly contributes to tens of thousands of deaths annually and countless social problems, while stigmatizing and criminalizing the use of cannabis, a substance that is incapable of causing lethal overdose and is associated with far fewer societal costs?

Driven to drink by marijuana laws?
via Reuters: The Great Debate
Tough marijuana laws are driving millions of Americans to a more dangerous mood-altering substance, alcohol. The unintended consequence: violence and thousands of unnecessary deaths. It’s time, therefore, for a serious public debate of the case for marijuana versus alcohol.
That’s the message groups advocating the legalization of marijuana are beginning to press, against a background of shifting attitudes which have already prompted 13 states to relax draconian laws dating back to the 1930s, when the government ended alcohol prohibition and began a determined but futile effort to stamp out marijuana.

Of course, I can’t help but blush when Bernd highlights my forthcoming book, Marijuana Is Safer, as the inspiration behind his astute analysis.

The case for adding a compare-and-contrast dimension to the debate is laid out in a statistics-laden book to be published next month entitled “Marijuana is Safer, So why are we driving people to drink?” The authors are prominent legalization advocates – Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Mason Tvert, co-founder of SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation).
“The plain and simple truth is that alcohol fuels violent behaviour and marijuana does not,” Norm Stamper, [Editor’s note: Stamper is on NORML’s advisory board] a former Seattle police chief, writes in the foreword of the book. “Alcohol … contributes to literally millions of acts of violence in the United States each year. It is a major contributing factor to crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault and homicide. Marijuana use … is absent in that regard from both crime reports and the scientific literature. There is simply no causal link to be found.”

I’ll be providing folks with further information regarding Marijuana Is Safer in the coming days and weeks. (The book is expected to hit stores by mid-August). But for now, why not join the vibrant discussion taking place on on whether pot prohibition is driving America to drink?

0 thoughts

  1. I am currently under court order to take a piss test for possession due to AN ILLEGAL SEARCH of my car. I am now forced to drink beer until my year (Conditional discharge) is over.
    When I drink, I become angry and could possibly become violent. This is what they want. But just like the day that Tennesse pig Lomax pulled me over and did an illegal search failing to turn up the quarter pound I had stashed in the Uhaul rented and paid for by some piece of shit race track, I will – when my time is up – roll up a big fatty and smoke it on the Capitol lawn, just like I did in 1980 and just like I did at the next rest stop with my middle finger fully extended to AMERIKAN law enforcement. And I will also continue to smoke cannabis EVERY SINGLE DAY of the rest of my life. I will boast to my probation officer that I have beenable to smoke weed every day since my illegal bust.
    See what drinking booze does? You all never heard of me when I was left alone to smoke weed. Not the gloves are off.

  2. #51 Aj C. Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 8:16 am
    If everybody smoked a blunt,and relieved there mind… The world could be a better place
    – If only the nation’s capitol were located
    in Northern California instead of Washington DC…

  3. #3 Anonymous posted that we should make alcohol illegal and marijuana legal. Now, I do not disagree with the second part, but I do with the first. We all know that prohibition is a failed domestic policy/social experiment. Why revisit it with alcohol? Put alcohol and pot on a level playing field. That way, when the consumers move away from alchohol in significant numbers (and they will), the alcohol pushers can’t complain that it is the government which is screwing them. Of course, it is a long road to travel to get this, as the alcohol pushers, pill pushers and the funding hungry law enforcement and prison bureaucracies will fight tooth and nail to stop it. Fuck Barry McCaffery and John Walters. I wish festering boils (at a minimum) on both of these pricks.

  4. #54 Rick Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 8:21 pm
    …Fuck Barry McCaffery and John Walters.
    I wish festering boils (at a minimum)
    on both of these pricks.
    – What I wish upon them is
    something 3x WORSE than
    the most painful medical-ailments that
    persecuted, worse-case medi-cann patients
    suffer(ed) from:
    (id est, Angel Raich’s brain-cancer,
    the late Robin Prosser’s lupus, Michelle Rainey’s
    Crohn’s disease…).
    – The “drug-czar” military-goons aren’t
    pharmacologists, aren’t botanists….
    – At best,
    they’re disciple’s of
    Tricky Dick Nixon’s
    Religion Against Marijuana…
    only able to distinguish one
    medication from another by its
    contrived legal-status,
    not by its pharmacological-properties…

  5. 53 Neurogenesis1:29
    The nation’s capital is in Northern California. Our nation’s enemies are in Washington D.C.
    So goes California…so goes the rest of the world
    …and…that’s a fact. If our enemies keep it up, the great sovereign State of California just may become a nation onto itself…without a revolution.
    I hear that Texas, and Hawaii would like to pull out. But…you know…the thought of dismantling America is really…well!…I can’t find the word to express my

  6. #57 Rebel with a cause Says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 9:56 am
    “53 Neurogenesis1:29
    The nation’s capital is in Northern California. Our nation’s enemies are in Washington D.C.
    So goes California…so goes the rest of the world”
    The “California-Effect”
    – Some places are SLOW to follow
    the Golden State’s leadership-role,
    even those as close as the backwards-lands
    of Anozira, and those as semi-equitorial
    as the backwards-lands of Adirolf.

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