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Alcohol is safer than marijuana, says Foundation for a Drug-Free World | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.

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42 responses to “Alcohol is safer than marijuana, says Foundation for a Drug-Free World”

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  2. 5 argumente pro-marijuana care nu sunt de ajutor | Puff-Puff

    [...] pamflet aparut pe pagina Fundatiei pentru o lume fara droguri, sustine ca marijuana este mult mai periculoasa decat alcoolul. In articolul aparut pe un fond de frunze de cannabis, gasesti exact la ce te-ai astepta de la un [...]

  3. best PSA ever, I'll never smoke weed again! - Page 5 - Grasscity.com Forums

    [...] lying to the public. NORML debunks their article about alcohol being safer than marijuana. Alcohol is safer than marijuana, says Foundation for a Drug-Free World | The NORML Stash Blog They use lies such as this excerpt from the norml article: [...]

  4. Mike Stroup

    If the harmfulness of a substance is the criteria for putting people in prison for using it, take a look at refined sugar. Ever seen those before and after pictures of people who misuse refined sugar? In the after pictures, they do not have any legs because they have been amputated (diabetes). Seriously, has anyone even bothered to re-read the Constitution of the United States recently? That which is freely chosen by an adult citizen and does not harm another, IS NONE OF ANYONE ELSES DAMN BUSINESS, NOR THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT AT ANY LEVEL! Government has no legitimate authority to even try and protect us from ourselves, rather part of the job we keep it around to do is at least try and protect us from each other. Who owns your body, you, or the government? If I control what you consume, I would own you, you would be my slave. Hmmm, you don’t suppose the federal government would be,… no, no, no, that could never happen here in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Past time to wake up.

  5. Tavis Harrison

    when people use the argument alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than weed so weed should be legal, there logic is wrong. alcohol and tobacco should be illegal (this is using the governments logic) and weed should stay illegal.

    but i dont agree with the governments logic an think that ALL drugs should be legal aslong as the user isnt affecting other people, although I dont agree with taking crack, cocaine or heroin because of the effects that they have (although I have never witnessed these effects for my self so it could just be government propaganda again and they have influenced my views against “hard drugs” just like they have with others and cannabis)

    I do think that people should be allowed to make those decisions for them selves

  6. Chris

    Actually, Russ, if I may respectfully disagree with you –

    Luke. Yes. If we are agreed that tobacco and alcohol are not so harmful that they must be managed as illegal controlled substances, then by that logic or, more accurately, by any logical analysis, any substance which is less harmful should, and I will emphasize the next word, OBVIOUSLY, be legal. The point of laws is (or, rather, should be) for the protection of members of society from other members of society, NOT for the protection of members of society from themselves. If the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol are not deemed adequate for the legal community to protect me from other’s use of them, and marijuana is less harmful, then I don’t want or need the government protecting me from my own decision to use it.

    If, on the other hand, marijuana is harmful enough that it should be made illegal by the above standard and alcohol and tobacco are MORE harmful, then THEY SHOULD BE ILLEGAL AS WELL. My point more succinctly here is that, Luke, if you advocate the criminilization of alcohol and tobacco as well as of marijuana, then your position is logical and consistent, and I can respect it – which is not to say that I would necessarily agree with it. If, however, you are advocating that marijuana continue to be treated as a dangerous substance that needs to be illegal, but that alcohol and tobacco should not be assessed in the same way, then ultimately what you’re advocating is the use of our legal institutions to enforce your personal beliefs, built in this case almost entirely on indoctrination and propaganda, on the rest of society, and not for the purpose I called out above. In no way whatsoever can I respect that position, EVEN if I actually happen to personally agree with it.

    Oh, and to clarify, sorry, you’re wrong about that as well – I don’t smoke marijuana, nor would I if it were legalized. That’s not what this is about for me. I do, however, binge drink to the point where I’m a danger to myself and, were I to get behind the wheel, others. Not to worry, though, I don’t get behind the wheel, so that’s perfectly legal.

  7. Mitch Hanna

    Firstly for a site marketing specifically to stoners this article was fairly eloquent, you used humor to difuse the tension inherent in discussing a controversial topic, I can apreciate that however I did not find this article to my liking.
    I won’t be so specific as to deny your theories, I’m not in anyway an expert on marijuana, and I don’t pretend to be, my problem with this article is your approach to debunking the points raised in the pamphlet. You can’t disprove anything just by disagreeing with it, you mentioned studies, try posting links to those studies so your audience can read them as well, and reach the same conclusion as you, that’s how you win favor, not by snarky comments. If I were to find a study online about the earths rotation, then go through and point by point baselessly disagree with them, noone who wasn’t high would agree with me, gravity doesn’t go up because you say so, that’s what you’ve done here, you’ve pandered to an audience that already shares your opinion, nobody has learned anything today, no opinions have been changed. if you want to change the world you have to let people join your cause not because you demand it but because you have informed them and allowed them to reach a point where they join you of their own accord, why do you think the egyptians aren’t around anymore? Because that structure doesn’t work, eventually it reaches a point where it can no longer be driven forward, that is when you’re cause loses all momentum, and you kiss legalization goodbye

  8. TriXter Phillips

    High Nathan

    Just because people like something does not mean that is harmfull. By the way you may want to take a toke or two of a vape to help with the anxiety you feel that your emote expresses visually for the audience.

  9. TriXteR Phillips

    Hey Russ

    This article wa mentioned in another article called 5 Pro-Marijuana Arguments That Aren’t Helping @ http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-pro-marijuana-arguments-that-arent-helping_p2/ and the way in which it is refered to is as follows “here’s a not-at-all-retarded rebuttal” which is also the link to this page. I find it funny that the gentalman feels compeled to vent his frustration towards a group he is obviously opposed to even though he claims he could care less. I think he is a confused dry drunk since he admits to having had to go through DT’s and I’ve seen the same mentality from several dry drunks before.

    Anyways enjoy the break from technology and ganjanology bro and we are looking forward to NSL’s glorious return, even if I cannot spell it.

    TriXteR Phillips

  10. 5 Pro- Marijuana Arguements that never worked « It started with an Orange

    [...] weed smoking. Drunk driving and smoking-related lung cancer have literally killed millions.In fact, here’s a not-at-all-retarded rebuttal from a legalization advocate in response to a “Foundation for a Drug-Free World” [...]

  11. thisguy

    haha i thought you said warcocks and erected.

  12. Luke

    So by that logic, anything that is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol should obviously be legal, yes?

  13. David

    “b’coz”? Dude, learn to type. And there’s been study after study and report after report that the harm caused by Cannabis is minimal. Of course it has minor risks attached, as does pretty much everything, but the facts state that it is far less harmful than tobacco or alcohol. :-)

  14. Nathan

    Just b’coz you guys like something does not mean it is not harmful! :pound:

  15. Derrida

    Foundation for a Drug Free World is funded and operated by the Church of $cientology, a money-grabbing cult that is setting itself up for world domination. Just thought you all should know

  16. Jake

    Im a pot smoker and proud but i gota add to some of your statements … People do add annoying shit to pot, addictive stuff so that you buy more but if the government legalized weed people could make it themselves or big companies could control it and if they legalized it they could put an age on it the same way as tobaco and weed would be less like a gateway drug!
    – LEGALIZE IT! :greenmj: :rasta:

  17. start 12 stepping

    I have cannabis receptors not alcohol receptors dumb alcoholics

  18. Karisa

    One of the many things I don’t understand about this pamphlet is how they have the “numbers” for these “studies” done on marijuana, but don’t have the numbers for the other drugs they’re talking about. How many people have died from alcohol? I’m talking about the accidents that people have died in, not just the driving but in all. Think about the victims of accidents cause by drunks, and lets not forget the people who die from alcohol poisoning from ONE NIGHT OF DRINKING TOO MUCH and of people who have been drinking too long who have developed diseases. Okay, and now lets get to cigarettes. How many people die from cigarette caused illnesses a year? 435,000 says http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30 but I also don’t know if this is only smoking or if it includes chew, snuss, or dip. And to those who claim that tobacco is natural, I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s only natural if you’re growing it yourself. Otherwise you can look up yourself what is in them. And there may be poisonous natural plants or what so ever but marijuana isn’t one of them, so it being natural is just a plus.

    I got addicted to pain pills and anxiety pills at a young age, and struggled to get off of them. Now that I’m having foot problems, I could really use one of the two. It sucks though, that I live in Florida, and we are yet to legalize the medical use of this plant, so looking for a job requires me to quit something that would help me with out the addiction. I have been a moderate smoker for the last 5 years and besides the pain in my foot, it has been easy to just say no. Most of my friends smoke, and I still let them use my bong if they have the need. Even being around the smoke is fine because I know that in the long run, I’ll get a job and hopefully prove something to the people who believe that it’s addictive. Now cigarettes on the other hand, that’s going to be a rough ride. Also, I had high blood pressure before I smoked marijuana on a regular basis, and was actually had to go weekly to have my pressure measured (this was when I was a bit younger, though I am young) but I no longer have this problem. It used to be a concern and now it’s not even mentioned, as if there was never a problem.

    I love this plant, how it looks, smells, tastes, feels, how it makes me feel. I love every aspect of this plant. From the facts that have been discussed over time since it has been made illegal, it should have never been made illegal. The only problem is that people lie and yes, as others have said, fear is a great deal of the problem, the propaganda that has caused it to be illegal. I would just like a funky one growin in my house because it’s so beautiful. :greenmj: :silvermj: :greenmj:

  19. Karisa

    Haha, still love your thinking. Got them facts on deck. :1thumb:

  20. Stumper

    @kateisgreat That is not a fucking argument and I wish people would stop saying this. Weed is not harmful at all but that’s not because it’s natural. THE STRONGEST POISONS ON THE FUCKING PLANET ARE NATURAL.

    Stop with this “it’s a pplaaant man” rastafari bullshit. It makes us pot smokers look stupid.

  21. pat

    fun fact: you can order a large and costly looking “educator’s kit” full of propaganda the generous cult will send you FREE! I suggest ordering one at their expense to, you know, educate ;)

  22. greyeyesgabriel

    Hmmmm…I have smoked cannabis daily for over 20 years and rarely get sick. In fact, I can be exposed to an illness, such as the flu, and even if I get it, it doesn’t last very long. Where my mother would be sick for 2 weeks or longer with the flu; mine would only last a couple of days. Most years, I don’t even get the flu; and of course I don’t get the flu shot. (Maybe that is why I don’t get the flu?) So, I know from personal experience that the THC in a realistically ingested dose, even taken on a daily basis, does NOT diminish the immune system; in fact it seems to do the opposite and increase the bodies ability to fight illness. There are so many lies that were funded by political groups with an agenda that a person that believed them would be right to fear them; but isn’t that what politicians thrive on; YOUR FEAR!

    The facts are that alcohol damages the body in so many ways; you can start a gasoline powered engine with pure grain alcohol, why not just turn suck it right out of your gas tank? Alcohol destroys the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and thins the blood, while effecting heart rate. Alcohol carries a General Surgeons warning here in America; is that because it is safer than Marijuana? And I haven’t even touched on the Drinking and Driving liabilities. It slows your reflexes and response time, but that’s okay, because most drunk drivers survive the fatal crash because of their relaxed state; at least that way they can pay for their actions and the innocent lives they took.

    The more light that spreads on the truth about cannabis, the more lies these types of organizations will put out to counteract these truths. The fact is that the government, whether it be Federal or local, makes so much money from the prohibition of Marijuana that they can not justify lifting prohibition; so they just make up lies and rumors about it. Like the sudden increase in “statistics” about Driving under the influence of Marijuana and accidents involving Marijuana. It was a big statistic that Marijuana activists used to support legalization; we used to say that there hasn’t been one reported accident from driving on Marijuana. So law enforcement started drug testing people in accidents to prove that they were under the influence of drugs. In most of the cases I have seen, they were either drinking as well, or on cocaine as well as having THC in their system; which we all know stores in the fat cells and can take up to 2 weeks to get out of your system. Not very definitive proof to support the theory.

    To sum it up; God made Marijuana, Man made alcohol; I trust God to know what’s best for me over man everyday!

  23. The Bluzguy

    The saddest thing about this article is the fact that there are folks out there who believe these lies.

    Just like the folks in Salem, Mass. believed witches were stealing the souls of their citizens.

    People embrace fear. That’s why horror flicks are so popular, that’s why war hawks get elected and re-elected, and that’s why cannabis is prohibited.

  24. kateisgreat

    The only drug that is natural and doesn’t need to be created by man in some way, is marijuana (aside from tobacco that you harvest straight from the ground and smoke it like it was grown). Alcohol, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamine, OxyContin are all made in a lab or brewery somewhere to be sold and make a profit. However, man has altered marijuana to have a stronger effect. That’s why you get all the different types.

  25. Gypsy B

    :big420: Ah no MMJ so I had a beer. I’m sure it’s not helping me one bit medically. My dad was told to have a drink every night for stress when he was younger (after prohibition of alcohol)… he died in 2005 from intestinal cancer. Guess the beer didn’t help him any. My grandmother on mom’s side drank, the Dr told her to give the Geritol to her plants and have a glass of wine instead. She ended up with Alzheimer and severe intestinal bleeding, so that didn’t work out too well. 6 years after stopping smoking cigarettes my aunt had to have her second breast removed and a lung..the rest is history. My mom, well she loved the “Just say No” stuff, while her Dr pumped her full of drugs (one time I got too high as a teen and took one of her vailume. It fucked me up for a week!) she ended up with dementia before passing away. My oldest brother smoked pall mall reds as long as I can remember, after he died I found out he had lung cancer that went to the brain. So please US GOV PROVE TO ME how YOU have MY and MY Family’s BEST interests in mind!
    Side effects from meds. for my fibro (I had severe case) and Gilbert’s syndrome were horrible. I chose Marijuana over oxy’s. So NO it’s NOT a gateway drug! I use it to stay off the GATEWAY drugs the pharma’s push! Considering I can use tinctures, cook with it, vaporize it…I believe it a far better way to go, and it works for me.

  26. Alicia`

    when it doesn’t include numbers

  27. Alicia`

    Just to add to the statisticly unsound list, a phrase they also seem to like to use “studies show” is also a red flag that the “study” is bogus.

  28. Alicia`

    Yeah, any statistician could look at this brochure and see that it is completely bogus. One of the principals of statistics is “correlation does not imply causation”. Also, in statistics, every estimation must have a number associated with it. Therefore vague words like “many”, “some people”, or ” a large percentage of the population” should be red flags to the reader. This principal (and every other sound statistical principle for that matter) is either neglected or outright ignored in this brochure.

  29. Phlynte

    ‘THC damages the immune system’ … ‘by using impossibly high doses of THC to cells in a lab.’

    But I doubt the damage is permanent. At *high* doses, the THC just makes those little ‘immune system cells’ loose their short-term memory and forget for a while what they are their for. ;-)

    Sorry, it just seemed obvious. Personally, I think it’s a panacea. peace

  30. jim

    this is a crock alcohol kills and destroy’s family’s I used alcohol for 17 years i started drinking when i was 13 years old and it contunied for 17 years i quit drinking when i woke up in prision doing 5 to 15 years now i run a small construction company life is much better
    norml .org

  31. Chris

    This booklet contains about the same amount of facts as industrial hemp contains THC.

  32. Crida

    Okay last one, this is funny. On their website the first sentence on the Drug Facts page states:

    “Drugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century.”

    Doesn’t that blatantly odd absence of awareness statement completely discredit anything that they say right there? I mean come on, since the middle of the last century? Our culture? What culture? They’re an international organization! And drugs have been part of the human culture since its inception! Again, weird.


    They should talk to MPP.org They have a $10,000.00 check waiting for anyone who can prove alcohol is safer than Marijuana. I guess they sure showed us! :ohno:

  34. Crida

    The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a secular non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. It was established to meet the increasing demand for the “Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life” community drug-prevention program originally spearheaded by the Church of Scientology International and supported by Scientology churches and other volunteer organizations for over 20 years around the world.


  35. Crida

    Is it just me, or do you guys also get the feeling that these pamphlets are like a practical joke making fun of their own ignorance and illegitimate facts? Kind of like Stephen Colbert or something. I don’t know, weird is the word.

  36. Kant

    well in all fairness if global warming really gets out of hand we might have an ice free antarctica

  37. TLC

    Their website does list alcohol as the most abused by teens drug, followed by MJ (about double for alcohol). So what is this booklet supposed to do, make the other 19+% switch to alcohol? I mean, isn’t their goal to reduce drug use? I guess I don’t get the purpose, unless it is simply an attack on the recent polls showing people believe MJ is safer than alcohol. Still, why bother when the “facts” are not facts; which feeds the true “gateway” juncture which is kids being lied to until they believe nothing they are warned about :dont:

  38. allanhowls

    According to Wikipedia, Foundation for a Drug-Free World is funded by the Church of Scientology. It MUST be right! :nonono:

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