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Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
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Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert compare and contrast the relative harms and legal status of the two most popular recreational substances in the world--marijuana and alcohol. Through an objective examination of the two drugs and the laws and social practices that steer people toward alcohol, the authors pose a simple ...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published August 24th 2009 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published 2009)
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A quick (pardon the pun) distillation of the argument: The two most popular recreational nervous system depressants are alcohol and cannabis. One is legal, the other is not. The legal drug can affect the brain stem and thus cause death by asphyxiation, the illegal one cannot. The legal drug is associated with aggressive acts like assault and rape, the legal one is not. By discouraging cannabis use, society is pushing people toward a drug that is more dangerous for the individual and the public. ...more
Dale White
I don't drink alcohol or smoke pot, but I have always wondered why alcohol is legal while marijuana is illegal. There is nobody out there who can deny the individual and societal problems that have occurred from people drinking. Lost productivity. Health issues. Domestic abuse. Car accidents. On any objective measure, marijuana does not come anywhere close to causing those problems. Yet we continue to spend millions on arresting and incarcerating pot users while alcohol (ab)use continues. We kno ...more
Stacy Burke
Nothing new for marijuana enthusiasts, but a must read for all the people brainwashed by the stigma our society has attached to pot. Citing studies, Marijuana is Safer proves that if any substance should be banned between alcohol and marijuana, it's alcohol, not that the authors would want it to be banned. They understand that not only is marijuana use mush safer for individuals and society as a whole than alcohol but prohibition doesn't work.
While I have no dog in this fight and my life will not change in any significant way if (WHEN) marijuana is legalized, I really enjoyed this book and am glad to have plenty of evidence to support legalization. A few of the chapters in the middle were preaching to the choir, as I don't believe marijuana is unsafe and I am already aware of the racist implications of the "war of drugs." But, comparing marijuana to alcohol made many of the arguments much more clear; for example, upwards to 70% of do ...more
This well-written book systematically breaks down the flawed drug laws of this country, in which a substance that is demonstrably worse for the individual and society is not only legal but celebrated, while a safer substance is arbitrarily deemed illegal and its users vilified whether criminally or via an unfounded social stigma.

It thoroughly explores and compares the effects of alcohol and marijuana, details the expensive burden of marijuana prohibition on our country's legal system, and highl
This book was startlingly good. I picked it up expecting a pure libertarian argument and was overwhelmed by the coherence and rigor of the authors' central argument: Because marijuana is far safer than alcohol, many lives will be saved (and improved) when we legalize marijuana. We should make it available to all adults and encourage many of them to choose it over alcohol.

The numbers on deaths (and injuries) from alcohol, including sexual assaults, were really quite starting. The correlation betw
Cristina Hutchinson
This book was suprisingly good. I was a little leary at first, but the information is organized and well presented. The theme of the book is simply - marijuana is safer. It's an in depth look at the differences between weed and alcohol.

The ideas presented evidently work as this was the basis on the reform to legalize marijuana in Colorado. The authors break down myths on weed and explore the benefits of making a less harmful than alcohol substance available legally for adults.

A compelling read
I have a habit of going through non-fiction books half way and then getting side tracked by a new one I see on the library shelf. Such was the case with this one, though I would highly recommend it to someone looking for inspiration for a paper on the subject, or someone looking to shape future public policy. This book emphasizes the fact that there is growing support for legalization from members of law enforcement organizations, a fact which may eventually play a key role in determining mariju ...more
Trish Scott
Alcohol is so very destructive to our health and community safety. This book convinced me to moderate my drinking habit. Really turns you off to alcohol, especially drinking too much.
This is a great reference for both "the converted," and parents who worry that legalization and regulation of cannabis will lead to increased usage among teens. In today's climate of marijuana prohibition, your average American teen can acquire pot faster than a Domino's pizza. "Drug dealers don't card."

At the core of this book is a persuasive argument, and a challenge to our society, which is to recognize the prevalent hypocrisy on the war against drugs, and acknowledge that one of the most dan
Barb Crumb
The book presents facts and studies indicating that, unlike alcohol, marijuana use seldom results in the kind of aggressive and abusive behavior associated with drinking alcohol. It explains how people can wind up with serious criminal records that will effect the rest of their lives for possession of small amounts of marijuana, but are able to drink heavily with no legal reprecussions. Thus, people concerned about the public results of their actions will forgo marijuana for alcohol for recreati ...more
An interesting strategy for moving the decriminalization/legalization of marijuana forward. The message that marijuana is much safer than alcohol has apparently helped further the cause of the anti-prohibition movement with some near successes in Colorado and other locales. There is no doubt that convicting 20 million Americans for pot related offences (mostly simple possession) since the prohibition began is a tragedy. The 'war on drugs' (with respect to marijuana) is more accurately the 'war o ...more
Mark Flowers
Paul's a friend, and I didn't really need any convincing, but I still found this to be a fascinating book, with an incredibly important message. I think their policy argument - that the best way to approach legalization is to stick to the message that MJ is safer than alcohol - to be particularly interesting, especially the results that the campaign had in Colorado.

If you have any interest in the topic at all, I recommend this book, and if you feel like you need some convincing, talk to me.
Mandee Seeley
Review to come.
A must-read! This excellent book is extremely well-written, well-researched, and well-documented. Check it out... it may just change your mind about marijuana, or give you the facts to advocate for what you already knew to be true: marijuana IS a safer choice than alcohol. Rather than adding another vice, marijuana legalization could provide a safer alternative to alcohol, helping ameliorate some of the many societal ills caused by booze.
This book provides many convincing arguments for the the legalization of marijuana. The authors have compiled an informative yet easy to understand resource for those looking to gain an understanding on the issue, or for marijuana advocates that wish to improve their debating skills. The final chapter outlines several ways for marijuana supporters to get involved in their communities.
I think this is a must-read for everyone in today's society, but especially anyone who consumes any drug, whether it be alcohol, caffeine or marijuana. Its not as pushy as you'd think and offers a lot of history and facts, with the real political push saved till the end. Just read it with an open mind and really consider the message.
Got during the "Great Marijuana Book Bomb" ( Good book, nothing really new if you've been following the issues though. Still an intelligent and thoroughly cited book that shows the direction the legalization effort is heading today.
Mitin Kumar
This book changed something inside me. It brought light on things that we feel the government does in our favor but there are very sinister and vested motives behind those actions. I just would recommend people to have a read just to listen to the opposition once.
Even for the non-smoker (myself), it makes a great point regarding the damaging effects on alcohol. As I drink a glass of wine and type this, maybe alcohol needs more regulation than a bit o' reefer.
This book effectively debunks the myths surrounding cannabis use and shows that it is indeed safer to use than alcohol. An interesting read for anyone frustrated with current cannabis prohibition in the U.S.
Nolan Gray
If you can only read one book on ending marijuana prohibition, this is the one. Highly accessible, incredibly thoroughly, and pleasantly practical.
Got this during the Amazon drug-policy book-bomb. I'm hoping it doesn't drag down alcohol to make its (good) point about MJ.
Al Olson
Why are our marijuana laws so flawed? Read this book. Regardless of your position on pot, this book is a must read.
Kathy Guilbert
Fabulous book!!! Easy to read and very well done. A must read book. Makes me hopeful that positive change can happen.
Kelly Paz Meyer
Interesting read supporting the legalization in Colorado.
which one do you think is worse?
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Mason Tvert is the cofounder and executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and the SAFER Voter Education Fund. He appears frequently in the news and travels the country promoting the "Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol" message. He resides in Denver, where he serves on the citys Marijuana Policy Review Panel appointed by Mayor John W. Hickenlooper."
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