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In NY Times debate, a professor and a former police chief argue marijuana is safer than alcohol
Written by SAFER   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Inspired by a recent report that teen marijuana use is up and alcohol use is down, The New York Times is hosting an on-line debate, "Should Teenagers Get High Instead of Drunk?"  A couple of the high-profile debater's arguments are right on the money, highlighting the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.  For example...

In a piece titled, "Not All Drugs are Created Equal," Robert Gable, emeritus professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University, writes:

No drug is good for teenagers. But when it comes to the chances of immediate death by chemical toxicity, marijuana is about a hundred times safer than alcohol or cocaine. [SAFER emphasis added]

That sentiment is echoed in a piece titled, "The Law Adds to the Harm," by Joseph D. McNamara, a retired police chief of San Jose, Calif., who is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University:

We shouldn't, of course, recommend to kids that they get high on pot instead of drunk on booze or blasted on coke, but recognizing that they may not be the perfect children that we were, the following facts speak for themselves: No one ever died from using marijuana, unlike alcohol or cocaine. Marijuana tends to mellow people, but we know alcohol and cocaine excites some into violence.


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