twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Pot Parents: Smoking's Better Than Drinking!

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

A controversial new movement promotes pot use instead of alcohol. These parents want to ban pot prohibition because they believe it will save lives.

teen smoking

Gina Kaysen Fernandes: Alcohol and marijuana are the two most popular -- and easily accessible -- substances on college campuses, but they're not treated the same under the law. Possessing pot can land you in jail, but drinking too much at a keg party can kill you. "This highlights the absurdity in how we treat these two substances," said Mason Tvert, the co-founder and executive director of the group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER. Mason has made it his personal mission to debunk the government's anti-marijuana message. "The fact that we have students drinking themselves to death made us realize we had to start some awareness on college campuses," says Mason.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20,000 Americans die every year as a result of drinking too much. It's a tragedy that Mason narrowly escaped. He nearly died from an alcohol overdose in the summer of 2000. The high school senior guzzled beer all day at a country music festival in Arizona. "Beer was widely available, and my friends gave it to me," recalls Mason. Paramedics rushed him to a nearby hospital, where doctors pumped his stomach. Mason's mother didn't know what happened to her son until the next day, because he was 18 years old and the hospital was not required to notify his parents. "He could have died -- I was so worried about that," said Diane Tvert. As a practicing physical therapist, Diane is supportive of her son's efforts to dispel marijuana myths. "I would so much rather he smoke pot than drink and get behind the wheel of a car," said Diane.

Many like-minded moms share her opinion. "I want my children to grow up to believe that laws are just and rational, and if there's injustice, they should fight it," said Jessica Peck Corry, a Denver-based Republican political strategist. Jessica, a former GOP candidate for state senate, is also a cannabis activist who campaigned for a ballot initiative that would decriminalize marijuana possession in Colorado. "We can no longer afford to wage war on a substance that people can grow in their backyard. It's a war we can't win," says Jessica. As a mother of two young children, Jessica says she plans to have an open dialogue with her kids about drug and alcohol use, even though, she says, "I want to place them in this bubble where I can protect them." Jessica believes that by arming her daughters with accurate information, "they will respect their bodies and make good decisions." These moms insist they're not pushing their kids to abuse drugs, but prefer they choose the lesser of two evils. "Things have gotten so skewed. People look at pot like it's the bogeyman. It's not going to kill you; alcohol can kill you," said Diane.

The statistics on the dangers of alcohol are staggering. Drinking on college campuses led to 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries, and 70,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape, according to a 2002 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) task force.

The risks associated with getting stoned are fuzzier. No studies have found a direct link between marijuana overdose and death. There's no objective research that finds pot use contributes to violent or aggressive behavior. "They're correct. Typically people don't get violent; I'll be the first to admit that," said Ken Winters, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at the University of Minnesota-Fairview who specializes in adolescent substance abuse. "But there are plenty of issues with marijuana. It's not a healthy option," says Winters, who believes parents are fooling themselves if they think smoking pot has no long-term consequences. "Prolonged marijuana use appears to increase memory and learning problems," said Winters, who adds, "like tobacco, habitual pot smoking can also lead to cancer and respiratory diseases." Winters also warns there's new research emerging that suggests marijuana can effect your DNA, which has risky implications. He thinks that parents who rationalize marijuana use are being naïve. Instead, Winters recommends we teach our kids to drink responsibly by sticking to the two-drink rule. "It's no fun to be the 'no-fun police,' but that's what you got into, that's part of parenting."

The so-called "Marijuana is Safer" movement is gaining momentum among college students, but is facing a lot of resistance from campus officials. Mason believes the institutions are part of the problem. On one hand, school administrators are trying to promote responsible drinking, yet "universities are fostering this behavior," argues Mason, by allowing beer companies to sponsor campus events like fraternity parties.

A number of well-known party schools are starting to mellow out on pot penalties. Students are adopting SAFER measures at about a dozen college campuses nationwide, including Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Florida State University, University of Maryland, University of Texas-Austin, University of Central Florida, and Ohio State University. Students on these campuses are working to make sure the school penalties for marijuana use are no greater than those for alcohol use.

Mason makes his case for SAFER Referendums in a new book hitting shelves this month, titled "Marijuana is Safer, So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?." Mason co-authored the book along with two other prominent legalization advocates, Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, and Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Marijuana is so easily accessible that one in three Americans have tried it at least once, including the three most recent U.S. presidents. The nation's marijuana business is estimated to rake in $113 billion in annual sales. That's not far behind the alcohol industry, which pockets $130 billion per year. For parents like Jessica, it's the fiscal concerns that make her blood boil. "It costs $30,000 a year to incarcerate a pot dealer, and we spend $10,000 a year to educate a child." Jessica thinks it's time that more mothers come forward "because for so long, others have been exploiting our children by perpetuating this war on drugs in the name of our children."


next: Octomom Reality Show Airs Next Week
142 comments so far | Post a comment now
Pharmg45 April 30, 2010, 10:31 AM

Hello! kdecead interesting kdecead site!

Pharmg28 May 14, 2010, 6:12 AM

Hello! eebeakd interesting eebeakd site!

Pharmg650 August 18, 2010, 5:08 AM

Hello! bebdafe interesting bebdafe site!

Joe August 19, 2010, 8:11 PM

To sum this article up, pot effin’ rocks.

DeCriminalize October 13, 2010, 2:23 PM

Do you ever wonder why Americans are arrested if they prefer pot instead of alcohol?
The drug war helps no one, except the Liquor companies and the politicians who are getting cash from them.
Since 1990 Liquor corporations have given $53,188,115.00 to Republican politicians and $42,117,495.00 to Democratic politicians (reported by Federal Election Commission). This includes $640,356.00 paid to John McCain and $432,170.00 to President Barack Obama.

Vista Screensavers October 18, 2010, 11:41 AM

So not really on the same topic as your post, but I found this today and I just can’t resist sharing. Mrs. Agathe’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told him, “I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you the check. Oh, and by the way…don’t worry about my Doberman. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, do NOT under ANY circumstances talk to my parrot!” When the repairman arrived at Mrs. Agathe’s apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Doberman he had ever seen. But just as she had said, the dog simply laid there on the carpet, watching the repairman go about his business. However, the whole time the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant cursing, yelling and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!” To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!”

Wedding Photographers Grand Rapids Mi November 25, 2010, 12:01 AM

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

Cure Hemorrhoids November 28, 2010, 12:53 AM

Fine info. Great post, very well written article.

Mary November 30, 2010, 9:48 AM

You’re a charming geezer I have to point out.

valium December 1, 2010, 3:06 PM

Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I’ve appeared for info of this caliber for the final several hours. Your website is significantly appreciated.

wczasy w bułgarii December 4, 2010, 5:22 AM

Hi, was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. You, my friend, ROCK!!!

Bodum December 6, 2010, 5:40 AM

Bookmarked your website. Thank you for sharing. Definitely worth the time away from my workload.

magazyny Warszawa December 8, 2010, 9:34 AM

Sorry to hear that.

Wedding Program Wording In Memory Of December 9, 2010, 8:45 AM

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

rolety December 9, 2010, 11:45 AM

I actually knew about most of this, but having said that, I still thought it was useful. Nice job!

agregat prądotwórczy December 11, 2010, 6:46 AM

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

Pics Of Sweet 16 Cakes 2 December 11, 2010, 12:22 PM

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

Job Description For An Accountant December 17, 2010, 9:56 AM

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

blood pressure chart December 19, 2010, 8:11 PM

This is often a excellent weblog, could you be interested in working on an interview concerning just how you produced it? If so e-mail me and my friends!

Anna December 21, 2010, 9:08 AM

Very pleasing to read post! Will be eagerly waiting for the second valuable part.


Back to top >>
advertisement