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Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?by Steve Fox
Synopses & Reviews
When the city of Lisbon, Portugal, was gearing up for a potentially raucous soccer tournament, public safety officials did something shocking. To try to mitigate fan violence, the police announced that soccer fans would not be arrested for smoking marijuana prior to a big match between England and France. Much to everyoneas satisfaction, the match went off without incident. Later that night, however, after fans left the stadium and made their way to local pubs, violence erupted, and several hundred citizens were arrested.Could that eveningas violence have been avoided if the rules of the stadium had applied to society as a whole? Yes, say nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Mason Tvert and Paul Armentano. Tvert and Armentano compare and contrast the relative harms and legal status of the two most popular recreational substances in the worldamarijuana and alcohol. They argue that current laws and social norms steer people toward alcohol, even though it is, by any objective measure, the more dangerous of the two substances.Marijuana Is Safer reaches for a broad audience, including people who have never used marijuana and may be skeptical about the authorsa claims. The book includes a detailed introduction to the plant and its effects on the user, and it debunks some of the governmentas most frequently cited marijuana myths. For current and aspiring advocates of marijuana-law reform, as well as anyone else who is interested in what is becoming a major political battle at all levels of government, the authors spell out why the message that marijuana is safer than alcohol must be a prominent part of the public debate over legalization.Most importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to help advance the cause of marijuana-policy reformaor simply want to defend their own personal asafera choiceathis book supplies the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, and elected officials. Written in a reader-friendly style, but loaded with facts and insightful analysis about the awar on marijuanaa and the drive to end it, Marijuana Is Safer is the perfect book for anyone who hasaor has not yetaever wondered, aWhy are we driving people to drink?a
Book News Annotation:
Fox (The Marijuana Policy Project), Armentano, a specialist in marijuana policy, health, and pharmacology who works at The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Tvert (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) argue that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to both individuals and society. They introduce the plant, its effects on the user, and potential harms; compare it to alcohol and its hazardous effects; discuss the origins of pot prohibition and the truth about common marijuana myths; describe traditional arguments against prohibition and how this drives people toward drinking; outline past efforts to change marijuana laws in the US; and propose an alternative education campaign based on the idea that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert compare and contrast the relative harms and legal status of the two most popular recreational substances in the world--marijuana and alcohol. Through an objective examination of the two drugs and the laws and social practices that steer people toward alcohol, the authors pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol?Marijuana Is Safer reaches for a broad audience. For those unfamiliar with marijuana, it provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, and debunks some of the government's most frequently cited marijuana myths. For current and aspiring advocates of marijuana-law reform, as well as anyone else who is interested in what is becoming a major political battle, the authors spell out why the message that marijuana is safer than alcohol must be a prominent part of the public debate over legalization.Most importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuana-policy reform--or simply want to defend their own personal, safer choice--this book provides the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, and elected officials.
About the Author
Steve Fox is the Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation's largest organization dedicated to reforming marijuana laws. From 2002-2005, he lobbied Congress as MPP's Director of Government Relations. He cofounded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in 2005 and has helped guide its operations since its inception. He is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School and currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two daughters.
Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and the NORML Foundation. A recognized national expert in marijuana policy, health, and pharmacology, he has spoken at dozens of national conferences and legal seminars and has testified before state legislatures and federal agencies. He appears regularly on Drew Pinsky's nationally syndicated radio show, Dr. Drew Live, and his work has appeared in over 500 publications. Armentano is the 2008 recipient of the Project Censored Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He currently lives in California with his wife and son.
Mason Tvert is the cofounder and executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). He appears frequently in the news and travels the country promoting the "Marijuana is Safer" message. He resides in Denver, where he serves on the city's Marijuana Policy Review Panel.
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