Marijuana and alcohol aren't equally toxic despite NIDA claim, says Mason Tvert

Categories: Marijuana
While its stance isn't surprising, the National Institute on Drug Abuse defied all common knowledge, logic and science earlier this week by contending that alcohol and marijuana are equally toxic. The NIDA position is an indirect response to the Marijuana Policy Project's message that marijuana is a much safer recreational choice than alcohol. It seems that PolitiFact, a political watchdog operation, took issue with MPP's stunt last month outside of a NASCAR race, where the group promoted marijuana as a safer alternative.

After researching MPP's claim that marijuana is safer, however, even PolitiFact concluded that the statement is "mostly true." For example, there are more than 41,000 deaths involving alcohol consumption annually, while marijuana has yet to kill anyone (ever). PolitiFact also noted that several doctors polled said the term "toxic" is too vague, and that cannabis use can still "create unsafe situations."

But as for how deadly the substance is to an individual, PolitiFact admitted that the plant is "100 times less toxic" on several important levels -- notably when it comes to deaths and hospital visits. And the only point cited by the group for the qualifier of "mostly" true was that no real long-term health studies have been conducted on cannabis due to its illegality.
Photo by Sam Levin
Mason Tvert at a press event earlier this year.
PolitiFact's position apparently upset someone at NIDA, which fired back with this on Monday. "Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual," NIDA officials wrote to the Huffington Post.

That argument is absurd to Mason Tvert, spokesman for MPP, founder of Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and author of the book Marijuana Is Safer.

"Basically, what they said is that marijuana can be as toxic as alcohol, which is ludicrous," Tvert maintains. "Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is infinitely less toxic than alcohol. To tell the public that marijuana is as toxic as alcohol is grossly negligent. It is conveying false information that can have an impact on people's health and safety. All people should be aware of the fact that marijuana is far less toxic, and unlike alcohol, it does not contribute to overdose deaths and serious long-term health problems."

More from our Marijuana archive circa January: "Marijuana: Mason Tvert says limiting pot sales to Colorado residents would be unconstitutional."

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Reefer Madness types have gotten away with hiding/distorting/lying about the truth for a long time, due to the illegality of formal studies on it in the US (Isn't that something? Claim it's horrifyingly bad, and ban studies which would prove it's not!), but the tide is turning, and results from studies around the world prove that cannabis is almost everything positive the potheads have always claimed, while being almost nothing negative that the Reefer Madness crowd has claimed.

In this day, when we pretty much expect the government to perpetually lie to us, it's almost completely intuitive that this is, in fact, the case, even if we don't have any particular attachment to cannabis, as I didn't before I became a patient. I still get complaints from potheads when I refer to it as "medicine," as they think it delegitimizes their recreational use, though I've been outspoken about my support for their right to that as well. I just think referring to it as medicine highlights that we're on higher moral ground than the prohibitionists.


Merriam Websters:

"containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation <toxic waste> <a toxic radioactive gas> <an insecticide highly toxic to birds>"

NIDA are LIARS with an AGENDA.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault