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They Said It


“[I]n terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm [than marijuana]."

Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, from McClatchy Newspapers, “Medical evidence on marijuana blows both ways,” May 24, 2009


“"I have always maintained that the legalization of marijuana would lead to an overall drop in substance abuse in this country. In particular, the option of legal marijuana use, as an alternative to the death and violence associated with alcohol use, would be a welcome societal change.”

Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico.


"As one who has been entrusted with maintaining the public's safety, I strongly believe--and most people agree--that our laws should punish people who do harm to others. But by banning the use of marijuana and punishing individuals who merely possess the substance, it is difficult to see what harm we are trying to prevent. 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. That marijuana causes very little social harm is reason enough in a free society to legalize it for adults.”

Norm Stamper, former Chief of the Seattle Police Department.


"Our current draconian laws prohibiting the use of marijuana by responsible adults are doubly flawed. Not only does such prohibition violate fundamental freedoms but also. . . it undermines personal health and public safety. Regardless of your views on the civil liberties issues. . .another compelling justification for marijuana law reform: that it will promote health and safety for all of us, including our nation's children."

Nadine Strossen, former President, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School.


“I took great pride in my performance on and off the field, and often questioned why our culture embraces alcohol while simultaneously stigmatizing those who choose to consume a less harmful alternative, is inconsistent, both legally and socially, for our laws to punish adults who make the 'safer' choice."

Mark Stepnoski, five-time NFL Pro Bowler and two-time Superbowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys.


“It is smart and clear and feels like common sense. Pot and drink are two drugs people commonly use and one causes a good deal more violence and tragedy. Let's at least legalize the other one. It's an excellent argument.”

Jennifer Michael Hecht, PhD, author of The Happiness Myth.


“[T]he science is clear that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana.”

Dr. Aaron M. White, PhD, Professor of Psychology
Duke University Medical Center, Dept. of Psychology, Division of Medical Psychology
“The Teen Drinking Dilemma,” Newsweek, 6/25/07


“Both alcohol and marijuana are drugs. However, the main problem we are facing now is alcohol.”

Bob Maust, College Alcohol Awareness Administrator
U.S. Dept. of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse & Violence Prevention
“Students call on CU to ease up on pot,” Daily Camera, 3/17/05


“The most dangerous drug in America today is still alcohol.”

Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Then-U.S. Drug Czar
U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
“Announcement of the 1999 National Drug Strategy,” White House News Conference, 2/8/99


“Virtually every sexual assault is associated with alcohol abuse. Almost every assault of any kind is related to drinking.”

President C.D. "Dan" Mote
University of Maryland-College Park
"On Campus, Legal Drinking Age Is Flunking the Reality Test," Washington Post, 8/20/08


“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Francis L. Young, Administrative Law Judge
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Official Ruling on Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, 9/6/88


“Alcohol, frankly, from a medical perspective, can be far more dangerous than marijuana. ”

Chuck Stout, Public Health Director
Boulder County Health Dept.
“CU: No grass on April 20,” Daily Camera, 3/18/05


“Cannabis differs from alcohol in one major respect. It does not seem to increase risk-taking behaviour. This means that cannabis rarely contributes to violence either to others or to oneself, whereas alcohol use is a major factor in deliberate self-harm, domestic accidents and violence.”

British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
“Further consideration of the classification of cannabis under the misuse of Drugs Act of 1971”
Report to the Home Office, Jan. 2006


“Overall, by comparison with other drugs used mainly for ‘recreational’ purposes [including alcohol], cannabis could be rated to be a relatively safe drug.”

Dr. Leslie L. Iversen, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology
University of Oxford, Dept. of Pharmacology
“Long-term effects of exposure to cannabis,” Current Opinion in Pharmacology, Feb. 2005


"My surmise is that smoking marijuana is more risky than eating it but still safer than getting drunk."

Dr. Robert S. Gable, PhD
"The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs: Alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances"
The American Scientist, the Magazine of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, May-June 2006


"It's true, you don't hear about people smoking themselves to death like you do with alcohol.”

Bob Maust, University of Colorado Standing Committee on Substance Abuse
The Daily Camera, March 17, 2005


"Cannabis differs from alcohol in one major respect. It does not seem to increase risk-taking behavior." 

British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
August 2007


“There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by recreational users.”

World Health Organization, 1995.











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