NORML Deputy Director Declares Marijuana Is Safer Than Booze In New Book

Washington, DC: The consumption of cannabis by adults is safer to the user and to society than is the consumption of alcohol says NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano in a new book published this week by Chelsea Green (

Entitled Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink, it argues that the criminal prohibition of marijuana irrationally punishes adults who choose to indulge in a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol.

“Expert reviews by the World Health Organization, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and many others have each separately concluded that cannabis poses far less risk to the consumer than does alcohol,” Armentano says. “It makes little sense for our society to condone, if not encourage, the use of alcohol – an intoxicant that directly contributes to tens of thousands of deaths annually and countless social problems – while simultaneously stigmatizing and criminalizing the use of cannabis, a substance that is incapable of causing lethal overdose and is associated with far fewer societal costs.”

Those who have offered advance praise for the book include former Republican Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) President Nadine Strossen, and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper.

“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,” Stamper writes in the book’s foreword. “I am certain, whatever you may think about marijuana laws at this moment, that you will look at the issue differently by the time you reach the final chapter.”

Says Armentano: “For those who may be initially skeptical of this message, Marijuana Is Safer will change the way you think about cannabis. And for those who already support reforming America’s draconian pot laws, this book will change the way you talk about marijuana.”

Marijuana Is Safer is co-authored by Steve Fox, Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, and Mason Tvert, Executive Director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER).

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: or visit: