Recreational pot — legalized in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and decriminalized Tuesday in Alaska — is less dangerous than both alcohol and tobacco, scientists assert.
The safety of marijuana versus booze is not a new claim but, for the first time, researchers measured the potential harm of these drugs in a more quantitative way — that is, by comparing a lethal dose to how much of the substance is typically consumed socially.
Their findings showed the dangers of marijuana “may have been overestimated in the past”, while the risk of alcohol has been “commonly underestimated,” researchers said.
The report, published in Scientific Reports at the end of January, compared the potential of death from the typical, recreational use of 10 drugs: marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. Marijuana was, by far, found to be the safest, even when compared to alcohol and cigarettes.