High Crimes

By Bill Maher 

Possession of marijuana for recreational use is now legal in Alaska and Washington DC. It’s still illegal to buy it or to sell it or to smoke it in public, but if you’re home and you’ve grown your own, “Smoke ’em if you got ’em!”  

More and more states are treating weed like sex – you can have it privately and you can give it away if you like, but you can’t charge for it. That mindset would be okay I guess if those restrictions were applied evenly across the entire spectrum of mind-altering substances. But they’re not. We allow adults to buy and sell alcohol in grocery stores and to drink it openly at ballgames and in bars – and alcohol is a much more deadly drug than marijuana. 

114 times more deadly to be exact. That’s according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers compared the average dose of different drugs usually taken in one sitting to the amount of that drug it would take to kill you and found marijuana to be “low risk,” especially as compared to the highest-risk drug, alcohol, which was found to be comparatively more deadly than marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin. 

So, if you’re keeping tabs of recent studies comparing booze to weed, marijuana is far less likely to kill you than alcohol, marijuana smokers are far less likely to commit domestic violence and stoned drivers are much safer than drunk drivers. 

If marijuana restrictions aren’t based on toxicity or the public dangers of impairment, exactly what – besides bias and tradition – are we hanging our criminalization hat on?