Jacob Sullum on the Prohibitionist Backlash Against Obama’s Marijuana Comments

Pot prohibitionists reacted with dismay to
President Obama’s observation that marijuana is safer than
alcohol—not because it was false, says Jacob Sullum, but because it
was true. As measured by acute toxicity, accident risk, and the
long-term health effects of heavy consumption, marijuana is
clearly safer than alcohol. That does not mean smoking pot
poses no risks, or that drinking is so dangerous no one should ever
do it. It simply means that the risks posed by alcohol are, on the
whole, bigger than the risks posed by marijuana. So if our drug
laws are supposed to be based on a clear-eyed evaluation of
relative risks, Sullum writes, some adjustment would seem to be in

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