Alcohol vs. Marijuana

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Talking about marijuana, President Obama recently said “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Denver-based journalist David Sirota talks about the connection between alcohol and marijuana and how alcohol played a role in the campaign to legalize marijuana .



David Sirota

Comments [8]

Why haven't the "public health guardians" chimed in with their usual cant - require growers, sellers, and users to carry insurance policies to compensate for the harms caused by the product. As the simple minded have pointed out: we require insurance for automobiles.
(Added Bonus: Should also be an employment multiplier for insurance sales personnel and adjusters.)

Jan. 23 2014 11:24 PM
Jonathan from nyc

Thanks for interviewing this reporter on this. One way to look at this: demographics as destiny: this is a numbers game. The only age demographic that currently has a majority portion that opposes legal, regulated, access to marijuana for adults consists of people over 65. In every other other age group from 18-65 the majority of people support taxing, regulating, and providing for legal access to marijuana for adults. So as folks in that older demographic die off, legalization becomes more and more politically attractive to politicians. You can argue that this is good, or bad but it does not really matter: we are heading toward legal access to marijuana for adults in many states in the next decade. This will not substantially increase access to marijuana for minors, who already have very easy access (ask your teen kids).

Jan. 23 2014 01:19 PM
Jack from Manhatan

By hiding behind the statement that "marijuana is no MORE dangerous than alcohol" entirely misses the point. We as a society tolerate the vices of cigarettes and alcohol. Nevertheless, the costs of of these vices on the public health of the common weal is vast. Slowly, education has made some inroads against the abuse of tobacco and alcohol. So what is the president suggesting? To legitimize yet another harmful substance to the population? This is as dumb as, say, addressing the global warming problem by burning more fossil fuels. Is marijuana addictive? Yes. [Ask any drug abuse counselor.] Does marijuana negatively affect the health of the brain? [As a neurobiologist, the effects of marijuana on the neuronal network, especially that of the still developing teenage brain is measurable.] Smoking anything organic fills the lungs with potentially carcinogenic substances. The President should listen to the scientists at the NIH and NIMH before he makes such broad and far-reaching health claims.

We as a society do not have to capitulate a small segment of the population wants to turn on and tune out and legalize something whose total costs will ultimately dwarf the budget of the DEA.

Jan. 23 2014 11:46 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Question: Is there regulation if people choose to use marijuana while driving or using heavy equipment or working? Is there a way that marijuana use can be determined if a driver is stopped for erratic driving?

My observation is that people who use marijuana tend to think that it's okay to do things while under the influence that people who are drunk could not do. Running a small business, I would not want an employee to come to work drunk OR under the influence of marijuana because that would represent a liability for me if the employee were injured during the course of the business day or caused an accident while driving a delivery van.

Jan. 23 2014 11:26 AM
oscar from ny

It is written that alcohol Has a 50% chance if doing good in the beginning but than you will pay the other 50% somehow..
As for pot smokers ..they say it can bring a man down sometimes..

Jan. 23 2014 11:25 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Whether or not weed is more harmful than alcohol -- which produces many, many deaths yearly -- is not to say much...What we need to consider are the potential consequences of legalizing another escapist, potentially addictive substance...We need to emphasize the difference between legalization and sanction.

Jan. 23 2014 11:24 AM

We will be celebrating a Super WEED Bowl....

Both Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana.

Jan. 23 2014 11:24 AM

The mood and mind altering capacities of marijuana are certainly no worse than those of alcohol. The gateway drug argument is bogus, too. I am pretty sure that most alcoholics started with a beer or wine and there is no attempt to control access to these substances. There is some evidence that early use - before brain maturation - of mj can lead to a higher occurrence of psychosis but the evidence is incomplete.

Why is marijuana illegal rather than a matter of adult choice anyway? Was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics just looking to make work for themselves. How much is racism against Mexican immigrants who were more likely to use marijuana as a source of relaxation.

FWIW, I favor de-criminalization over legalization. For me that means, growing or possessing small amounts of mj are NOT a crime. No tickets, no arrests. I DO NOT want to see American business (especially American advertising!) get behind legalization. I don't really want to see mj sales and production become an industry. I certainly don't want to see tax revenues from mj sales become a part of how the state funds their operations!

Jan. 23 2014 10:59 AM

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