Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? 2nd Edition

Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? 2nd Edition

by Steve Fox
     
 

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In 2012, voters in Colorado shocked the political establishment by making the use of marijuana legal for anyone in the state twenty-one years of age or older. In the wake of that unprecedented victory, nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert revisit the "Marijuana Is Safer" message that contributed to the

Overview

In 2012, voters in Colorado shocked the political establishment by making the use of marijuana legal for anyone in the state twenty-one years of age or older. In the wake of that unprecedented victory, nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert revisit the "Marijuana Is Safer" message that contributed to the campaign’s success--as the first edition of this book predicted it would in 2009. In this updated and expanded edition, the authors include a new chapter on the victory in Colorado and updates on a growing mountain of research that supports their position.

Through an objective examination of marijuana and alcohol, and the laws and social practices that steer people toward the latter, the authors pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol? For those unfamiliar with marijuana, Marijuana Is Safer provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, and debunks some of the government's most frequently cited marijuana myths.

More importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuana policy reform--or simply want to defend their own personal, safer choice--this book provides the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, elected officials and, of course, future voters.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus Reviews-

"It’s not rocket science: Alcohol puts more people in the hospital or graveyard than marijuana. If our laws are meant to prevent harm to others, then what harm are we trying to prevent by the illegalization of marijuana? In fact, making marijuana illegal absurdly inflates its value and encourages violent crime to command its distribution. The sources of marijuana’s illegalization are vile, rather easily traceable to bigoted attitudes toward Mexicans and African-Americans. Certainly, there are moments in this otherwise thoughtful and policy-driven initiative that veer perilously close to demonizing alcohol in the same manner that marijuana has been demonized. Regardless, the authors’ argument that marijuana is the safer of the two recreational intoxicants is rock solid, and one can see that this everyday, common-sense comparison would be an effective tool in changing public perception, manipulated as it has been by everyone from Nancy Reagan to the great brewing concerns. The authors end with a workable proposal for a grass-roots response, complete with talking points and ready answers to FAQs, to bring the issue to the ballot. A well-designed initiative to redress the villainization of marijuana."

Starred Review, Booklist-

"If Americans could legally smoke marijuana, would it reduce alcohol abuse and the attendant violence and aggression that go along with it? That is a social experiment worth trying, according to pot-decriminalization advocates Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert. At this pivotal time of a national shift in thinking on the double standard in law and social attitudes, the authors offer a commonsense perspective on the relative threat of and social response to marijuana versus alcohol. After detailing how the government, media, and beer and liquor companies often collude in demonizing pot and drive Americans to drink instead, the authors cite statistics and combat myths regarding marijuana, from the hysteria of the film Reefer Madness to the assertion that legalization will only sanction another vice. Focusing on the successful legalization campaign in Colorado, the authors concede they have an uphill battle in their effort to educate the public on the comparisons between pot and alcohol as they assert the positive benefits of legalization, taxation, and regulation of pot, including more revenue, less crime and mayhem, and fewer health problems. Given the changing political landscape and widespread use of pot, whatever a reader’s perspective on marijuana, this book is a well-researched, thoughtful look at a controversial issue."

Kirkus Reviews
A sensible approach to the legalization of marijuana that pits the plant against alcohol, from Fox and Tvert (Marijuana Policy Project) and Armentano (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). It's not rocket science: Alcohol puts more people in the hospital or graveyard than marijuana. If our laws are meant to prevent harm to others, then what harm are we trying to prevent by the illegalization of marijuana? In fact, making marijuana illegal absurdly inflates its value and encourages violent crime to command its distribution. The sources of marijuana's illegalization are vile, rather easily traceable to bigoted attitudes toward Mexicans and African-Americans. Certainly, there are moments in this otherwise thoughtful and policy-driven initiative that veer perilously close to demonizing alcohol in the same manner that marijuana has been demonized. Is it really universal that "[w]hen low to moderate levels of alcohol are consumed, complex mental faculties such as memory, concentration, and judgment are affected, as well as one's mood and motor coordination"? To what degree? Doesn't a toke or two get you fried? Occasionally, the authors address any study calling marijuana to the table with, "though this finding remains controversial and inconclusive," while accepting as gospel studies that, for instance, report any alcohol consumption by women increases cancer, which should require a caveat. Thinking people--the book's target audience--will feel this condescension. Regardless, the authors' argument that marijuana is the safer of the two recreational intoxicants is rock solid, and one can see that this everyday, common-sense comparison would be an effective tool in changing public perception, manipulated as it has been by everyone from Nancy Reagan to the great brewing concerns. The authors end with a workable proposal for a grass-roots response, complete with talking points and ready answers to FAQs, to bring the issue to the ballot. A well-designed initiative to redress the villainization of marijuana.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603585118
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,173,057
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Steve Fox, principal at Marijuana Strategies, is one of the leading figures in the movement to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in the United States. He is a cofounder of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which currently represents more than 250 state-legal businesses, and serves as a strategic advisor to the organization. While at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) from 2002—2013, Steve lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot-initiative campaigns, including the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado, which made personal possession and cultivation of marijuana legal, while establishing a regulated market for adults. In 2005, Steve conceptualized and cofounded (with coauthor Mason Tvert) Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in Colorado for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The goal, eventually realized, was to change the mindset of voters in order to make marijuana legal through a ballot initiative. He now serves as an independent consultant, advising individuals and organizations on marijuana policy- and industry-related issues.




Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and the NORML Foundation. A recognized national expert in marijuana policy, health, and pharmacology, he has spoken at dozens of national conferences and legal seminars and has testified before state legislatures and federal agencies. He appears regularly on Drew Pinsky's nationally syndicated radio show, Dr. Drew Live, and his work has appeared in over 500 publications. Armentano is the 2008 recipient of the Project Censored Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He currently lives in California with his wife and son. You can visit the NORML Foundation online at norml.org.


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 city's Marijuana Policy Review Panel, appointed by Mayor John W. Hickenlooper. Read Mason's blog on The Huffington Post at www.huffingtonpost.com/mason-tvert.

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