Is Marijuana Safer Than Alcohol?

Peter Vickery
Peter Vickery
Mason Tvert
Mason Tvert

Marijuana policy activist Mason Tvert talks with host Francesca Rheannon about the book he co-wrote, MARIJUANA IS SAFER: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? It says marijuana should be treated legally no different than alcohol. And Peter Vickery tells us about his historical thriller, MADISON HOPPER AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN BLOOD BROTHERHOOD. It’s the first in a mystery series about the struggle for civil rights in the early years of the 20th century.

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Why Are We Driving People to Drink?

About 50% of Americans report using marijuana at least once — and the true figure is probably higher. When President Obama asked Americans to go on his Open Government Initiative web page to tell him what problems they thought he should address, legalizing marijuana was one of the top items on the list.

Mason Tvert is a warrior in the trenches of the marijuana legalization movement. In his new book, he says the war on pot is driving people to a much more dangerous drug — alcohol. The fact that there are lots of New York alcohol treatment rehab centers and other similar facilities elsewhere in the country attests to that.

Tvert says marijuana is not only safer than alcohol, it has real medical benefits. He asks the question: Why do we punish adults who make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol? And he says legalizing pot would help cash-strapped state budgets.

Tvert is cofounder and executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and the SAFER Voter Education Fund. His book, co-written with Steve Fox and Paul Armentano, is MARIJUANA IS SAFER: SO WHY ARE WE DRIVING PEOPLE TO DRINK?

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Peter Vickery

Peter Vickery is better known as a politician than a writer: He was elected to the Massachusetts Governor’s Council in 2004. He served a term as a progressive voice on the council. Politics is one love of Vickery’s; the law is another — he’s an attorney — and writing is a third. Putting the last two interests together, he’s taught legal writing at the University of Connecticut. But lately he’s turned his pen to another kind of writing: historical thrillers that bring together all his interests. He’s completed one of a series about the struggle for civil rights in the early years of the 20th century. It’s called MADISON HOPPER AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN BLOOD BROTHERHOOD.

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About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.

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