The head of Australia’s leading alcohol research institution has a message for the Australian government – marijuana is safer than alcohol. From The Herald Sun:

Robin Room, director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, says marijuana should be legalised under strict controls because the social harm associated with it was significantly less than from drinking.

“It makes sense to legalise marijuana in a controlled market,” he told the Herald Sun yesterday. “We are in a situation where we need to look ahead. I think we need to have the discussion and it makes a lot of sense in terms of, among others, cutting down government costs to have a fairly highly controlled legal (cannabis) market and, while we are at it, tighten up the legal market of alcohol in the same way we tightened up the market of tobacco.”

Prof Room, a leading academic at Melbourne University, is funded by the Department of Human Services.

Compared to all other drugs alcohol is one of the more dangerous ones. It is addictive, relatively easy to overdose on, excessive long term use can cause serious health problems, and alcohol impair greatly increases the chance of accidents. While marijuana isn’t without its issues, compared to alcohol it is clearly safer.

Professor Room is part of a growing number of experts who are publicly acknowledging this fact and reaching the obvious conclusion that it is illogical for alcohol to be legal while keeping less dangerous marijuana illegal.

There isn’t just a strong civil liberties and government waste argument for ending marijuana prohibition but also a public health one.

Photo by The Other Dan released under Creative Commons License