Cannabis 114 times less deadly than alcohol


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While I do feel that weed is more safe to use than alcohol, I think the results may be skewed a bit.

Alcohol is not only legal, but widely advertised and very popular. The number of people using alcohol must dwarf the number of people using weed.

Just as many more people die in car accidents than plane accidents, because many more people are on the road at any time than in the air.


Its still the same a drunk driving if you smoke or use it and then operate a car. Hopefully laws will be passed that includes a test for cannabis use while driving under the influence.

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That is a seriously unintuitive graph. The title implies that the bars will indicate the extent of risk, while the headline suggests that they might enumerate deaths. Instead the cannabis bar is the longest, completely undermining that message.


I hate this kind of reporting, especially when the “study” (really a monte carlo simulation based on what appears to be an “extrapolated” drug dose-response curve, LD50 data at various “exposure” levels with a ton of uncertainty) itself includes a statement warning specifically against this type of reporting:

Aside from the limitations in data, our results should be treated carefully particularly in regard to dissemination to lay people. For example, tabloids have reported that “alcohol is worse than hard drugs” following the publication of previous drug rankings. Such statements taken out of context may be misinterpreted, especially considering the differences of risks between individual and the whole population.

I wonder if they authors would consider BoingBoing to be a tabloid considering they did exactly what they warned against doing.


Pet peeve:

Nothing is n times less than anything else.

However, something can be 1/nth as much as something else.


I’d say that “n times less” is a formally imprecise but well-established linguistic shorthand for “1/nth as much”.


Alcohol is not only legal, but widely advertised and very popular. The number of people using alcohol must dwarf the number of people using weed.

This isn’t about a comparative total number of deaths. It’s about the level of toxicity (hence the ratio chart above). It’s about risk.

If moderate to heavy cannabis usage for adults explodes in the USA, we’d be mostly fine (especially considering the healthy benefits of cannabis for some people). If moderate to heavy alcohol usage explodes in the USA, we’d be fucked (especially considering the toxic effects of alcohol for most people).

When alcohol usage has upticked in the past, we’ve seen more serious disease, violence and deaths. When cannabis usage upticks, we typically see more cases of the munchies.

And, those that say that moderate alcohol usage is healthy never seem to tell people the rest of the story:

Only A Fraction Of The Population Has The Genotype That Makes Moderate Alcohol Consumption Heart Healthy

Disclaimer: I don’t think all alcohol consumption is evil. I drink alcohol, er… “medicinally” on occasion, myself.

Just as many more people die in car accidents than plane accidents, because many more people are on the road at any time than in the air.

You’re making an incorrect comparison even for your incorrect comparison. For one thing, planes are safer because they’re vastly more regulated for maintenance and pilot (driver) training, etc. than automobiles are.

Cannabis should be wildly more dangerous than alcohol since it’s vastly unregulated for safety, dosage, etc. and it STILL destroys alcohol which is heavily regulated, etc.


The “same” only for values of same that mean “not the same”.


Yes, there’s a damn good reason for that - alcohol is legal In more places than weed. I don’t drink, I used to be heavily dependent (please note that dependency is not the same as alcoholism; I may be stating the bleeding obvious posting that here, but many don’t know - much less understand - the difference).

I don’t think you can compare booze to weed, it’s not a fair comparison; alcohol is addictive - weed, whilst undeniably habit-forming, is not. It’s not even a drug.

I don’t want to turn this into my usual, anti-MoDA, rants because I’m tired, and I feel like shite. Weed is a beneficial herb which has the potential to do a great deal of good. Alcohol is a toxic drug which has the potential to do a great deal of harm.

Like I said, I was alcohol-dependent for more than 20 years - and I’ve the scars (both physics and mental) to prove it. I’ve bee 100% dry now for almost as long - and I do mean 100% - I won’t even have Xmas pud, trifle, tiramisu, liqueur chocolates, or anything else containing even the tiniest bit of booze lest I get the taste for it again.

I don’t want to go into how it made me feel, because,it’s late at night and I don’t have anything to ‘pull me back’ should the gravity begin to pull me into a black hole, I’m simply not strong enough to pull myself out.

Weed is the polar opposite of booze to me; weed has the potential to save my life - literally. No, save is the wrong word, it has the potential to give me life, booze nearly ended my existence (and to me they’re not synonymous) several times.

There’s more I’d like to add to this but, like I said, I’m incredibly tired, and my sense of appropriateness is bad when I’m awake but, when I’m almost asleep… is what I’ve already said appropriate…?! Seriously, I’ve honestly fuck all idea.

G’night, humans. :first_quarter_moon_with_face:


By far not. Alcohol screws up with your reflexes and gives you false courage. Marijuana on the contrary tends to make you more aware of everything, which compensates to a degree for the impaired processing speed, and you are less likely to take risks.

I felt way less unsafe with a stoned driver than with a (mildly) drunk one. The one who was sober but “only” tired was the scariest.


(makes popcorn, waits for @teapot :smiley: )


Tried to get the gist of it on the linked paper, but got a bit lost. So… it’s basically extrapolating on LD50 data? Applying data from past experiments on how much of a given drug it took to painfully kill 50% of a group of animals to humans, with some computer modeling thrown in? Is that what this is all about?

Pot, of course, has been fought against because of a few reasons, but none of them are honest reasons, and they surely are not good reasons. Pot has many medicinal uses, but they take their stand based on the recreational function of it. It puts them in the position of making themselves look like they are hard workers using their time never for their own enjoyment. Because the reality is they are always living for themselves, they have no true moral compass at all.

So, you see these sorts of people in every manner of society, willing to jail people for imaginary offenses like the taliban banned kite flying, or some cleric in saudi arabia has tried to ban making snowmen.

They literally can not tell the difference between, for instance, kite flying and murder, or pot smoking and rape. So, they are faking it. And on issues like these, the fact that ‘there isn’t really anything there’ leaks out, because it is so ludicrously dishonest and unfair.


I don’t use weed, but I see no reason why it should be illegal or more regulated than cigarettes.

Then again I would legalize most everything. Come up with purity controls, dosing instructions, and “use at your own risk” disclaimers.


Well add in some data about how prevalent the drug is (if not very prevalent, than the likelihood of overdosing is obviously lower) and the drug-response curve (how far away is the typical dose from a lethal dose in both people who have a tolerance and don’t).

Really, this seems entirely meaningless to me considering we all know that likelihood that anyone is going to fatally overdose on THC is infinitesimally small.

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It’s about risk.

Per use risk at that. Life time risk may vary (although still a hell of lot less risky than tobacco smoking).

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And it is important to point out, it is incredible hard to kill yourself with weed. You can die from acohol poisoning, but could never smoke enough to kill yourself (well you could but it would take like 1500lbs in 15 minutes, and probably only by being smushed to death). For the most part you lose conscientious long before that could ever happen.


I’d bet you could. But then what would kill you is the carbon monoxide, not anything specific to cannabis. Oak leaves or chopped grass would do the same job.


I don’t care either way. I don’t think its mine or the government’s job to protect you from yourself.