Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
Marijuana has become mainstream. Breathless stories about it in TIME, Newsweek, and all major media outlets proclaim that it is either a potential savior of the economy, the scourge of teen development, or just a plant that happens to have a bad rap.
Regardless of the angle, weed has grown into the light of day and the public has become more conscious of it than ever, often finding that the current drug war set against it is cruel and unfair. A recent Gallup poll found that 44% of the US population wants marijuana to be legalized, the highest ever. Combine that with the explosion of the medical marijuana marketplace harming Mexican drug cartels, as well as the Obama administration offering a directive to stop prosecuting legally recognized marijuana dispensaries, and there is the potential for a dramatic sea change in the way the United States, indeed the world, deals with the green stuff.
Part and parcel of this new paradigm is getting people information. Enter Marijuana is Safer by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert; each one an integral member of a drug policy reform organization, and their creds show. Part social examination, history lesson, and reform presentation, Marijuana is Safer makes the case for how different a world could be without the $60 billion a year drug war, most of which goes to eradicating marijuana from our society.
Serving as introduction, education, and illumination, the book is easy for anyone to jump into, whether you are a newcomer to drug policy or a long-standing veteran. Particularly telling is the first section contrasting the world’s favorite mind-altering substance -alcohol- and marijuana, examining it from every prismic angle. While familiar to those who have been engaged in the drug war fight for some time, it still manages to illustrate new things, often in a way that had been previously unexamined.
Tonight we welcome Steve Fox, co-author and the Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). I hope we’ll get a lively discussion going and shine a light for the readers.
[Full disclosure: I am the director of HIGH: The True Tale of American Marijuana and have been fighting the drug war for about eight years now. My documentary was previously the subject of an FDL Movie Night]