August 28, 2009 – If you had to pick between two vices for your child, would you rather he take a toke of marijuana or guzzle a beer or two? That is the question many moms 0d738d0f3c9af5d5_potare debating these days. As alcohol related deaths continue to make headline news, many pot proponents are advocating the legalization of the leafy drug to help curb the use of alcohol. In the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, the authors make the argument that the effects of the illegal substance are less harmful than those of alcohol.

To see what both sides argue, read more.

A forbidden drug, marijuana is often blamed for memory loss and the lack of motivation. Alcohol, which is legal on the other hand, can be faulted for a plethora of problems: cirrhosis, alcohol poisoning, reckless driving and domestic abuse. Cannabis supporters claim that the herbal treat mellows the user and has medical benefits as compared to the liquid toxins. And if legalized, the authors believe it will drive people to drink less and inevitably cause the related deaths and abuse to decline as well. The opposing camp believes when more substances are available for abuse, the more people will misuse them. They say adding pot to the mix is only going to encourage people to drink and smoke.

Since the grass (har har) is always greener, it begs the question: If pot becomes legal and everything else remains the same, would things change for the better? I can see it now… a wedding buffet with a hashish bar and hookahs at the table. The Temptations’ “Shout” may not get quite the same excitement as a circle of people singing “Kumbaya.”