Agency Denies MJ Is Less Toxic Than Alcohol

Aug 20, 2013

The National Insti­tute on Drug Abuse released an eyebrow-raising state­ment to Poli­ti­Fact on Mon­day, deny­ing that mar­i­juana is less toxic than alco­hol. “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,” wrote the insti­tute. NIDA, part of the National Insti­tutes of Health, funds government-backed sci­en­tific research and has a stated mis­sion “to lead the nation in bring­ing the power of sci­ence to bear on drug abuse and addic­tion.” The state­ment was in response to a dec­la­ra­tion by the pro-pot pol­icy group Mar­i­juana Pol­icy Project that mar­i­juana is less harm­ful than alco­hol –- a claim that was the cen­ter­piece of a con­tro­ver­sial pro-marijuana com­mer­cial aired dur­ing a NASCAR race last month. Poli­ti­Fact took the claim to task, com­par­ing marijuana-related deaths to alcohol-related deaths and tox­i­c­ity lev­els of the two sub­stances. As noted by Poli­ti­Fact, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention’s National Cen­ter for Health Sta­tis­tics reported 41,682 alcohol-related deaths in 2010. The cen­ter had no reports list­ing mar­i­juana as a cause of death. Poli­ti­Fact also noted a study by Robert Gable, an emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy at Clare­mont Grad­u­ate Uni­ver­sity, that mea­sured the tox­i­c­ity lev­els of sub­stances rang­ing from heroin to mar­i­juana. The study showed that “mar­i­juana is about 100 times safer than alco­hol or cocaine.” Poli­ti­Fact noted that evi­dence sur­round­ing the long-term effects of mar­i­juana use is murky. Still, the fact-checker ruled the claim that mar­i­juana is less toxic than alco­hol “mostly true.” Mason Tvert, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Mar­i­juana Pol­icy Project, said NIDA’s claim is a new low for the agency. “Our fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been exag­ger­at­ing the harms of mar­i­juana for decades, but at this point it has gone off the deep end,” Tvert told The Huff­in­g­ton Post. “NIDA’s state­ment that mar­i­juana can be just as toxic as alco­hol would be on par with the FDA announc­ing sushi is as fat­ten­ing as fried chicken.” “This is gross neg­li­gence on the agency’s part and should be addressed imme­di­ately by the White House,” Tvert con­tin­ued. “It is one thing for our fed­eral offi­cials to con­vey their oppo­si­tion to mar­i­juana pol­icy reform. It is an entirely dif­fer­ent and more dis­turb­ing sit­u­a­tion when they are con­vey­ing oppo­si­tion to sci­en­tific evi­dence.” Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: Robin Wilkey Pub­lished: August 19, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

480903ae03plant.jpg 150x112 Agency Denies MJ Is Less Toxic Than Alcohol

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Agency Denies MJ Is Less Toxic Than Alcohol

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