Jacob Sullum fisks Charles Stimson:

Stimson's attempt to argue that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol is embarrassing. Although I have reservations about denigrating drinking in an attempt to legalize pot, there is no question that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol by several important measures, including the risk of acute poisoning, impairment of driving ability, and the health effects of long-term heavy use. Stimson asserts that alcohol is different from marijuana because "for most people, it is not addictive"; but according to the government's own survey data, that is also true of marijuana (and every other illegal drug). In fact, data from the National Cormorbidity Survey (PDF) indicate that drinkers are more likely than pot smokers to become addicts. Stimson also claims that alcohol, unlike marijuana, is "rarely consumed to the point of intoxication," which proves only that he does not know what intoxication means.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.