A group of cannabis activists in Texas are offering $10,000 to anyone in their state who can disprove that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Taking their cue from the book, “Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?” co-written by Paul Armentano of NORML, Mason Tvert of Safter Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, and Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, the Safer Texas Campaign has put up the money to anyone who can prove three statements claiming marijuana is safer than alcohol are incorrect;
1. Alcohol is significantly more toxic than marijuana, making death by overdose far more likely with alcohol,
2. The health effects from long-term alcohol consumption cause tens of thousands of more deaths in the U.S. annually than the health effects from the long-term consumption of marijuana, and finally
3. Violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by alcohol is far more prevalent in the U.S. than violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by marijuana only.
Safer Texas Campaign manager, Craig Johnson says that his group is confident that the $10,000 reward will remain unclaimed. The book notes that many universities have begun trying to educate students to consume alcohol responsibly, Fox, Armentano, and Tvert question why it is “not appropriate to suggest that they should ‘party responsibly’ with a less harmful substance like marijuana instead?” Unlike alcohol, marijuana is not associated with assault or rape. In a written statement, the Safter Texas Campaign says, “”Every objective study on alcohol and marijuana has shown marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol to both the user and to society,” Craig Johnson goes on to say, “If our elected officials can take millions of dollars from the alcohol industry, and make it easier for alcohol distributors to sell alcohol in cities, they simply do not have the credibility to continue marijuana prohibition and punishing adults for making the safer, rational choice of using marijuana instead of alcohol”. The Safer Texas Campaign is also calling on all Texas incumbents and other candidates for state and federal government office to publicly pledge to stop accepting money and other gifts from the alcohol industry until Texas passes a law that taxes and regulates the marijuana market in a similar manner.