Marijuana a Safer Alternative Than Alcohol

Marijuana a Safer Alternative Than Alcohol
Posted by CN Staff on November 17, 2005 at 15:26:33 PT
By Scott Hagen, Staff Writer
Source: Rebel Yell
Denver, Colo. has proclaimed itself the nation's forerunner for dealing with domestic violence. Billboards previously pasted up in the city showed the image of an abused woman, promoting support of Initiative 100 to "Reduce family & community violence in Denver," and, earlier this month, voters successfully willed it into action. Marijuana possession for recreational purposes is now legal for the first time in an American city.
Mason Tvert, the leading proponent of the Alcohol Marijuana Equalization Initiative, was involved in the "Make Denver Safer" campaign. Of Initiative 100, he said: "If this passes, it will make the city of Denver safer by allowing adults over 21 to use marijuana as an alternative to alcohol." In January, Tvert also started an organization, SAFER (Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation), as a response to alcohol-related deaths at Colorado universities. He added, "There's no doubt that if people choose to use marijuana instead of alcohol we would not have the same number of problems."As the research shows, alcohol is the obvious, evil cause of domestic violence and other cultural maladies. Warning labels, of course, have been in place on every alcoholic container for years. "Consumption of this beverage will significantly increase the probability of you spontaneously battering your loved-ones." Alcohol is the problem in this country. It makes innocent, harmless people freak out and inexplicably turn violent. What is all this hogwash about psychology and emotional problems? That's just a propaganda ploy of the capitalist distilleries. And consequently, Prozac, Paxil, and Ritalin are now readily prescribed to combat the poisoning effects of booze. Drugs are the answer, but we've yet to mainline enough of them into the bastard drunkards. We need more, for even Viagra is unable to combat the venom; after the distraction peters out, the user's characteristic anti-social aggressions are yet again revived. So, let the people smoke pot and it will all get better.Tvert's organization says it best. The Web site states: "SAFER does not encourage the use of marijuana. It is time our laws stop encouraging the use of alcohol and allow adults to make the rational decision to make the safer choice to use marijuana." Isn't it all so clear? It's nice to know organizations have their heads on straight. End domestic violence: legalize marijuana. Denver: the mile-high city. Source: Rebel Yell (Las Vegas, NV Edu)Author: Scott Hagen, Staff WriterPublished: November 17, 2005Copyright: 2005 Rebel YellWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Laws Need To Go Up in Smoke Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on November 23, 2005 at 19:10:06 PT
News Article from Going To Pot 
By Patricia CalhounThursday, November 24, 2005Greetings from the Mile High City. 
"Mind if I smoke?" asks Frank Rich, Denver's drunken ambassador. Who could mind? We're sitting in Club 404, a 53-year-old bar in the heart of Denver, a town that's suddenly turned into America's new-age sin city, a place where vice is very nice -- if, in fact, it qualifies as vice at all. Last fall, Denver was toasted as "The Drunkest Big City in America" by Men's Health magazine, and while the stated reasons for that honor did not cite Rich, who founded Modern Drunkard magazine here in 1996, they certainly should have. He's about to crisscross the country on a book tour, touting this town's liquid assets as he talks up The Modern Drunkard: A Handbook for Drinking in the 21st Century, a malted manifesto already bubbling up the Amazon charts. And just three weeks ago, Denver voters stunned poll watchers and pundits by passing Initiative 100, which legalizes the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in this city. The Make Denver SAFER campaign was led by Mason Tvert, a 23-year-old from Phoenix who graduated from the University of Richmond in May 2004, moved to Boulder in January and pulled off the upset of the election season, taking this town one toke over the line. He, too, is crisscrossing the country, talking about his victory and helping other groups strategize similar campaigns. But right now, Denver's viceroys of vice, these two sultans of sin, are meeting for the first time. Round One "You didn't have to attack alcohol," Rich says, hoisting a glass of PBR. "The logic behind the campaign," Tvert explains, "was simply a method for pointing out the hypocrisy of many people within our system and the irrationality of many laws. I wholeheartedly do not have a problem with alcohol." "You obviously do," Rich fires back. "Have you ever read your website?" "I wrote it." Rich pulls out a file of pages he's printed off SAFER's site, pages full of screeds and stats pointing out the hazards of alcohol. For Rich, drinking isn't all fun and games -- although his book is full of both. He has his own sets of stats regarding the healthful aspects of alcohol. "Less harmful and more harmful does not mean better or worse," Tvert responds. "That's exactly what it does," Rich says. "Alcohol is more harmful than marijuana," Tvert insists. "How is alcohol more harmful?" Rich asks. "You can overdose on it." "You can overdose on aspirin." (Were this discussion being fueled by marijuana rather than beer, at least the voices would be lower -- and slower. Already, my cramped fingers are aching to pop the top off an aspirin bottle.) "Alcohol saves more lives than it takes away," Rich continues. "Alcohol safer than marijuana? That's statistically impossible," Tvert counters, then tones it down. "I think we do agree that whether it's alcohol or marijuana, they are drugs that people want to use; they do have benefits. They also have potential harms. I never say that marijuana is harm-free. Never. I always say that the policies that keep marijuana illegal while keeping alcohol legal are more harmful than policies that would allow people to use marijuana as well as alcohol." "I support the legalization of marijuana. I think most drinkers do," says Rich. "Drinkers are more laissez-faire about legalizing pot than your average person." Round Two Another PBR later, Rich is no more laissez-faire about SAFER's anti-alcohol campaign. "It reminds me of two beleaguered swimmers in the social current, and one of them is trying to stand on the other guy's head to save himself," he says. "The idea wasn't that we were attacking alcohol so much..." "Oh, come on." Hey, Tvert insists, he would have liked to have run a pro-marijuana campaign. But the billboard company wouldn't let him use the message "Marijuana is SAFER than alcohol" because it wouldn't permit the word "marijuana." And it was the city that told SAFER the ballot measure couldn't be called the "Alcohol/Marijuana Equalization Initiative." So, yes, alcohol wound up the heavy, but all he was looking for was equal treatment under the law: If alcohol is legal, then marijuana should be, too. Without the alcohol angle, Tvert points out, "there would have been no media coverage at all." And even negative coverage -- say, of the time Tvert called Denver mayor John Hickenlooper a "drug dealer" because he owns bars, or of a proposed SAFER billboard showing a battered woman that made it look like Initiative 100 was simply an attempt to put more cops on the street -- helped the cause. "This is Denver," Rich disagrees. "Voters could read the word Śmarijuana.'" In the drunkest big city in America, who's going to vote against a little pot? But Tvert doesn't back down. "I never lied once," he says. And besides, the campaign worked: "Marijuana wasn't legal before, and now it is." For Tvert, this is just the beginning. He's gotten calls from politicos around the country. "Everyone is polling to find out what the hell happened," he says. He's just back from the national Drug Policy Alliance Conference in California -- "There was no discussion of alcohol there, because alcohol is a legal drug," he notes -- and next he's off to Washington, D.C., where he'll see friends and maybe do a little politicking. Then it's back to Colorado, where he'll pick up the pro-marijuana campaigns he introduced on the University of Colorado and Colorado State University campuses this past spring. Although both schools changed alcohol policies after students died on campus, "they're still doing things wrong," Tvert insists. And soon he'll be talking with Sensible Colorado, an outfit that wants to push for legalizing marijuana statewide in 2008. "We'd like to help them see that through," he says. "I think you'll have a difficult time if you're attacking alcohol," says Rich, a former Army Ranger. "I'll make sure of that. I'll start a campaign." Where there's smoke, there's still ire. Round Three Back in their corners, the two agree to disagree...for now. They start comparing notes on other sin cities. Alcohol consumption is much higher in Amsterdam than it is here, for example, even though drugs are legal. "But I'm pretty sure that's tourists," Tvert says. They debate whether alcohol or marijuana is the more social drug. They talk about alcohol and assorted city officials, alcohol and the arts. "Look at Ernest Hemingway," Tvert says. "We wouldn't have The Old Man and the Sea without it." Rich, who will be signing copies of his own book in New York City the next day, casts a conversational net for similar dope-inspired masterpieces, but it comes back empty. "I totally feel for you guys," he says, his hand around a fresh PBR. "We just wouldn't attack you. What's the honorable thing to do, rather than attack a beleaguered swimmer?" "I have nothing against alcohol," Tvert says. "I'm pro-choice all the way around." "But there will be a backlash," Rich warns. "People are moving to prohibition. There's less consumption of alcohol every year." The campaign was just politics, Tvert repeats. He's not called "Karl Rove for the pleasantly stoned" for nothing. Not that he'll officially say whether he's ever inhaled: "Would you ask a pro-choice person if they've ever had an abortion?" If you're Frank Rich, you would. "Do you smoke?" he asks Tvert. "I'm pretty sure you do." Next round. Copyright: 2005 New Times
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Comment #14 posted by boballen1313 on November 18, 2005 at 22:22:52 PT:
Safer alternative???
Hows about as a society we start to be RESPONSIBLE for our actions when high? I dont care if its alcohol, weed, or meth we all need the high, but no one needs our effluence. I reckon we can show more class. I dont shoot up the bar i drink in... anyone get it?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on November 18, 2005 at 10:15:14 PT
Max Flowers 
You made me laugh. She sounds very nasal to me! LOL!
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Comment #12 posted by Max Flowers on November 18, 2005 at 09:56:48 PT
FoM - Rita Cosby
 - watched MSNBC most of time until they put on a lady that was on Fox and her name is Rita. Her voice drives me thru the roof -Thank you FoM, I know exactly what you mean! I'm glad you said that, I've been wanting to complain about her to someone ever since she showed up. What in HECK was anyone thinking, hiring her? She has this horrible, hoarse, abrasive voice like a braying sea lion---that's all I can think of whenever I go by MSNBC and see her (I can't linger, because like you, I go out of my mind if I have to listen to her for more than 10 seconds). And as far as "news anchor skills", as far as I can see she has none.The only thing I can see that they think is an asset is a brash, no-class frontal assualt of an "interview style", bleached hair and bad makeup. It's beyond belief.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 18, 2005 at 09:21:08 PT
Natural Medicine
I don't believe in man made drugs anymore. Today I took about 5 different herbs in capsule form. Our bodies were made for natural products but I really don't think pills and powders were what was intended for us to use. I am not against drugs for special times and uses when someone really needs them but herbs will do just fine without the side effects.
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Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on November 18, 2005 at 09:15:28 PT
They could have just asked me...
Thanks FoM. Cannabis has reached down some pretty deep holes and pulled me out. It is an immediate relief. I believe every cure and relief we need in our lives is available through natural medicine. The chemicals that the pill companies sell could all be replaced by natural plants and minerals. "They" want to ban ALL natural competition to their hateful, but vulgarly profitable chemicals. WE CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN. Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 18, 2005 at 07:37:16 PT
Here's an article about the depression issue. Is Pot a Real Bummer? Study Doesn't Think So:
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on November 18, 2005 at 03:48:46 PT
He's just jealous.
There will probably be a lot of stories like this one. I think the guy is jealous because, for the first time in 68 years, an alternative to his alcohol, cannabis, is well on it's way to mainstream acceptance, and legalization. A lot of people will be reluctant to accept cannabis. The alcohol crowd who ridicules pot smokers may never accept it. There will always be some division between tokers and straights/alcohol drinkers. Because, as we all well know here, CANNABIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. I think we are special to be able to partake of this plant. I believe Cannabists are truly on a UNIVERSAL mission. Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW! 
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Comment #7 posted by b4daylight on November 17, 2005 at 21:36:54 PT
Ohh I fprgot the feds
Tvert's organization says it best. The Web site states: "SAFER does not encourage the use of marijuana. It is time our laws stop encouraging the use of alcohol and allow adults to make the rational decision to make the safer choice to use marijuana." Isn't it all so clear?The feds are so clear and honest shucks...
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 17, 2005 at 18:38:06 PT
Mayan & Siege
I watched MSNBC most of time until they put on a lady that was on Fox and her name is Rita. Her voice drives me thru the roof so I don't know if she's good or bad but Tucker the bowtie gets me and I don't watch him either. I seem to be staying on CNN when I watch news these days. We turned on Fox on our way to the Weather Channel and that mean dark haired fellow was chewing out General Wesley A. Clark. I don't like rude people and he was being very rude to him. Fox has so much hate that it almost radiates from the channel. They sure think they are special. Just ask them! LOL!
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on November 17, 2005 at 18:35:31 PT
I sensed an element of satire, too...but sometimes it's hard to recognize. Several years ago someone was helping me learn how to write more letters to the editor that might get printed and I mentioned to her that I would like to try some satire. She said that wasn't a good idea, because a lot of people miss the satire completely. I've kept that in mind. Some articles, it's just hard to tell.
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Comment #4 posted by siege on November 17, 2005 at 18:30:33 PT
Some times people step in it and come out smelling like a Rose!
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on November 17, 2005 at 18:22:59 PT
Your'e welcome. Tucker is either an idiot or a genius. His show sure has sparked massive debate!
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on November 17, 2005 at 18:21:13 PT
The author seems to be riduculing Mason Tvert and SAFER but who cares. THEY WON!THE WAY OUT...Tucker Carlson Resorts to Calling 9/11 Skeptics 'Quacks': 1: There Was No Inferno: and the WTC Collapses: Bradford Smith interviews Dr. Morgan Reynolds and Eric Hufschmid:
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Comment #1 posted by siege on November 17, 2005 at 18:09:59 PT
Tucker e-mails thanks for the info...
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