Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jan 2014
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2014 Morgan Fox
Author: Morgan Fox


I was disappointed that Rebecca Hagelin's column, "Marijuana is a
dangerous drug, not a joking matter" (Jan. 8), made no mention of the
legal drug that does far more harm than her exaggerated dangers of
marijuana; namely, alcohol.

Alcohol causes tens of thousands of deaths each year through disease
and overdose. There has never been a single death attributable solely
to marijuana. Alcohol use is associated with violence and aggression,
but marijuana is not. Every objective study that has compared the two
substances has concluded that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

Yet Ms. Hagelin is more worried that allowing responsible adults to
make the safer choice by legally purchasing marijuana from regulated
businesses that check IDs will somehow lead to a generation of lost
youth. She doesn't seem particularly concerned with the fact that a
much more dangerous drug is widely available in far more places and is
heavily promoted in pop culture and advertising. That is the real joke

While it is unfortunate that the child she mentioned accidentally got
slightly ill from a marijuana cookie, we should be thankful the kid
didn't find a bottle of alcohol. This story could have ended much,
much worse. Yet no one is using this incident to call for a return to
alcohol prohibition.

Instead of continuing the expensive failure that is marijuana
prohibition, we should regulate the marijuana market to help keep it
away from youth. We should also be honest with children about the
relative harms of drugs. We cannot have honest drug education when we
arrest adults for using marijuana while allowing and promoting a much
more dangerous substance.

MORGAN FOX Washington 
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