Alcohol causes 35,000 deaths in America each year. No-one has ever died from effects of marijuana. Domestic abuse and violence often has it's origins in alcohol consumption. Marijuana has not had this effect. So, why are we driving people to drink?
Marijuana is SAFER, by Steve Fox (MPP), Paul Armento (NORML), and Mason Tvert (SAFER) (Chelsea Green Publishing $14.95) Part history lesson and part activism handbook, this volume provides a full range of facts to counter the empty "just say No" prohibition arguments that have been given too much credence to date.
Broken down into 3 parts, the authors first cover The Choice: Marijuana vs. Alcohol, looking at the differences to both person and society from the effects of usage. Available studies and anecdotal stories of Frat Row and drunken brawls after sporting events have led to the realization that the continual promotion of alcohol to celebrate has had much more damage than promoting marijuana would have. Here is a great recap from their website.
Former Seattle Chief of Police, Norm Stamper has written the intro and (sadly after) his retirement has become a leading voice in the Legalization movement. Here is a short video from him.
Choice Interrupted examines covers the history of Reefer Madness and the consequences of following the zero tolerance policies. Last year SAFER published a "WANTED" poster that pointed out the fact that Cindy McCain's money came from alcohol and the hypocrisy of a major manufacturer of alcohol funding her husband's presidential run to further advocate for marijuana prohibition.
Freedom of Choice breaks down traditional arguments and shows that marijuana use could be an alternative and not an additional vice. This section gives you a good basis for advocating locally and enlarging the discussion.
Recently our local paper ran a story of a 15 year old boy who died of alcohol poisoning. I'm certainly not for encouraging children that young to partake of anything, but it can't be denied that our society's continued glamorization of alcohol contributed to the young man's death. And if you think 15 year olds can't get their hands on either substance, well, dream on.
On Monday night at 6pm, I'll be joined by Mason Tvert to discuss Marijuana is SAFER in Second Life. We have a new reading hall just down the street from the bookstore. Join us at Lacamas Hall for an eye-opening evening.
SAFER is on twitter