A study recently came out backing up what pro-cannabis advocates have known (and been screaming at naysayers) for decades: cannabis is safer than booze, tobacco and other drugs.
The study’s focus was simply to do a comparison of lethality among the ten most commonly used drugs (cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, diazepam, amphetamines, and methadone). For the purposes of this study, “lethality” is defined by comparing the lethal dose of each drug to the commonly used amount.
The alcohol lobbyists aren’t going to like this report. Not only did the study find that marijuana is by far the safest drug, it found that alcohol is potentially more deadly than heroin. In fact, cannabis is so much ridiculously safer than the other drugs, the data points to building policies that reorder the priority of risk management.
That means putting pot on the back burner indefinitely and focusing on risks associated with alcohol and tobacco, even over the other illicit drugs. Researchers suggest that past policies likely overestimated the risk of cannabis and underestimated the risks of alcohol and tobacco. Not surprising to hear when you consider that millions of ER visits and almost 90,000 deaths a year are attributed to too much booze, and tobacco kills almost 500,000 people annually.
Additionally, the non-risk that cannabis truly poses supports a legal, regulatory approach toward it rather than more failing prohibitionist tactics. The study further concludes that drug legislation is generally devoid of scientific basis, particularly U.S. drug policy.
Notorious pot advocate and professor, Mark Kleiman, when discussing the current narcotic schedule in the United States said that alcohol and tobacco should be at schedule I (the most restricted, where cannabis currently sits). However, he says the best idea is to trash the whole scheduling system and build a new one with more complexity and dimension.
Here is yet another scientific report that can find no justification whatsoever for cannabis being illicit while alcohol and tobacco are ubiquitous. The real question is, will anyone with power actually do something about it?