Drug Policy Forum of Texas
   Search WWW          Search www.dpft.org

Figures for

Texas News


Notes for Marijuana And Alcohol Compared


[1]Marijuana Less Dangerous. 

"Overall, The Current Public Health Risks Of Cannabis Use Are Small To Moderate In Size, And Are Less Than The Public Health Risk Of Tobacco Or Alcohol Use." 

- Health Ministry, New Zealand in The Dominion (Wellington) July 30, 1998 

[2] Death 

"Marijuana is an herb for which no fatal dose has ever been established." 

- Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing Newsletter, July 1999 

[3] General health concerns 

[3a] Alcohol 

"Of all the drugs being used in our society, alcohol has the strongest claim to the label drug in view of the prominence of its long-term physical effects. " 

- Dr. Andrew Weil in "The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and the Higher Consciousness" 

[3b] Alcohol 

"Study after study has shown that alcoholics have cognitive impairments associated with the brain damage caused by chronic alcohol poisoning. It's a no-brainer that other organs -- the pancreas, the liver, the heart -- are also affected. And the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism lists alcoholism as the third most common cause of death next to cancer and heart disease among adult Americans. Almost 30 percent of inpatient hospital stays and 50 percent of emergency room visits in the United States are associated with the treatment of medical problems related to alcoholism alone." 

- extracts from Addicts Suffer From Disease, The Daily Times(TN), 12 Jan 2004 

[3c] Alcohol 

"Almost 30 percent of inpatient hospital stays and 50 percent of emergency room visits in the United States are associated with the treatment of medical problems related to alcoholism alone. " - The Daily Times (TN), 12 Jan 2004 

[3d] Marijuana 

"Leaving politics aside, where is the harm in decriminalising cannabis ? There is none to the health of consumers, and the criminal fraternity who depend for their succor on prohibition would hate it." 

- Deglamorising cannabis, THE LANCET, November 11, 1995 

See: Lancet

[3e] Marijuana 

"The minimal negative health effects of moderate use would be attested to by the 1.5 million Canadians who smoke marijuana for recreational purposes." 

- Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ); reported by NORML 

[4] Impaired judgment 

"Indulgence in cannabis drugs, unlike alcohol, rarely bring the habitué into a state of extreme intoxication where he loses entire control over himself. As a rule, those who indulge habitually can carry on their ordinary vocations for long periods and do not become a burden to society or even a nuisance." 

- U.N. Bulletin on Narcotics, 1957; cited by E. Brecher in Licit & Illicit Drugs [See: www.druglibrary.org to read this excellent book from the editors of Consumers Report] 

"... the person high on marihuana is not readily distinguishable from one who is not high" 

- 'The Natural Mind' by Dr. Andrew Weil, 1972 

[5] Impaired performance 

"If a marijuana user is allowed to smoke his usual doses and then to do things he has had a chance to practice while high, he does not appear to perform any differently from someone who is not high." 

- Dr. Andrew Weil, What No One Wants to Know About Marijuana, in The Natural Mind 

[6] Drugs and violence 

"Alcohol is the only psychoactive drug that in many individuals tends to increase aggressive behavior temporarily while it is taking effect. Marijuana and opiates [such as heroin] temporarily inhibit violent behavior." 

- From The Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior [The Panel was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1988 in response to a request made by three Federal agencies: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was made in 1994. ] 

[7] Fetal Damage 

In addition to well known Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, new research finds that babies born to mothers who drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy are more likely to be born with nerve damage in their arms and legs, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). For the study, heavy drinking was defined as consuming four standard drinks per day. A standard drink is the equivalent to one can of beer, one glass of wine, or one mixed drink. 

"Infants born to mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy are known to be at risk for mental retardation and birth defects. This is the first study to show that these infants may suffer peripheral nerve damage, as well." 

- Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the NICHD, 3/11/2004 www.nichd.nih.gov/ 

"In a study of neonates born to Jamaican women who did or did not ingest marijuana during pregnancy, there was no difference in neurobehavioral assessments made at three days after birth and at one month." 

- Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, 1999, "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base." Commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

[8] Addiction 

"A distinctive marijuana and THC withdrawal syndrome has been identified, but it is mild and subtle compared with the profound physical syndrome of alcohol or heroin withdrawal." 

"Compared to most other drugs, dependence among marijuana users is relatively rare." 

- Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1999. Commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

[9] Gateway 

Dr. Els Borst, the Dutch minister of health, says cannabis does not have serious health risks. Borst also points to a study that shows among Dutch citizens who smoke cannabis, 75 percent abstain from all other drugs. 

- ABC, 8-29-01 

See: Gateway


Drug Policy Forum of Texas dpft.org. All Rights Reserved.