No matter where you stand on the topic of Cannabis, it’s almost certain that the average citizen has a very warped perception regarding the hemp plant. For a very short time (On 4/20 Midnight to Midnight), NORML is offering a free book through their site: Marijuana is Safer – So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? This is a good book for informing yourself or others on this topic. The book is written by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert, The forward is by Norm Stamper, former Seattle Chief of Police Department.
Pulled from Amazon’s site, the Book Description goes:
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.
Norm Stamper’s story (Breaking Rank) is fascinating in its own right and worth reading. Check out this video where he explains his stance in his own words:
Another book that goes more into solid research is Understanding Marijuana – A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. I highly recommend this book to the complete newbie all the way up to the seasoned advocate. Mitch Earleywine sheds light in an accessible, yet honest way. He isn’t “selling” weed, he presents the benefits and the harmful qualities of marijuana. I think he has his own personal bias but keeps it out of the way as he describes the costs and benefits of cannabis.
A whole other aspect to the debate is whether cannabis has medicinal value. This topic has been well studied and confirmed, which may explain why the AMA, traditionally very conservative, called for the Feds to review marijuana restrictions. Discussion on that may be for another entry! For those who think they have a medical condition that cannabis may help, and they live in a U.S. state where medical marijuana is legal, check out the THC Foundation site for further information. Be aware, U.S. federal law still considers all possession and use of marijuana illegal at this time.