Of the two territories that have completely legalized recreational marijuana (Colorado and DC) DC has definitely seen the bumpier road, but Cathy Lanier, the Police Chief of DC, recently said that alcohol is a much bigger problem than marijuana. And everyone with common sense said, “Yeah. I know.” But to our surprise, not everyone in the Capital Hill area has said sense.
Lanier stood by district mayor Muriel Bowser following the controversy of the past few weeks in which members of congress threatened Bowser and others with jail time if they were to implement the marijuana legalization approved by voters. But, what do you know? They didn’t throw the mayor in jail for passing an innocuous legislation. Bowser didn’t succumb to these threats and she is still working from the mayor’s office todayDC is in the early days of legal recreational weed.
Lanier says that alcohol is a bigger concern to the safety of police officers and the public than cannabis is. She says that marijuana smokers are not going to kill or attack police, and that they just want to get a bag of chips and relax. Alcohol is a much bigger problem and has more of a reputation for leading to violence.
Lanier did however mention her concern about the possible health issues of smoking pot rather than vaporizing and edibles. She said that despite her concerns, she’s policing the city as the Chief of DC police, not as a mom, and since 70% of the public were in favour of legal recreational marijuana it is her duty to allow it in any form. She then went on to talk about how DC cops are not fans of marijuana possession arrests, saying that most would rather dump the stuff down the drain than deal with the paperwork and court appearances, as it won’t do anything to stop people from smoking marijuana. All the arrests do, she said, is make people hate the police.
It seems that President Obama agrees with Lanier, saying that he doesn’t think that pot is more dangerous than alcohol. A study in Scientific Reports backs this up, showing that cannabis is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. On a per-user basis, marijuana also causes less trips to the ER than alcohol, pharmaceuticals and other drugs.