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Safer Texas Campaign: Disprove Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol - Win $10,000
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The Safer Texas Campaign, a project of ProtectYouth.org, will pay $10,000 to anyone in Texas, who can disprove three statements of fact that demonstrate that marijuana is objectively and unquestionably safer than alcohol.

The three assertions are:

1. Alcohol is significantly more toxic than marijuana, making death by overdose far more likely with alcohol.

2. The health effects from long-term alcohol consumption cause tens of thousands of more deaths in the U.S. annually than the health effects from the long-term consumption of marijuana.

3. Violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by alcohol is far more prevalent in the U.S. than violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by marijuana only.

"We are confident that this $10,000 will not be claimed," said Safer Texas Campaign manager Craig Johnson, when he posed the challenge. "Marijuana is objectively and unquestionably less harmful than alcohol, and these three statements are representative of that fact. Alcohol is more toxic than marijuana, more likely to lead to the death of the user - either by overdose or chronic use - and more likely to contribute to violence. For good measure, alcohol is also more addictive than marijuana. As we consider whether to reform our marijuana laws, it is important that the people of Texas understand these facts."

Moratorium on Alcohol Campaign Contributions

The Safer Texas Campaign is also calling on all Texas incumbents and other candidates for state and federal government office to publicly pledge to stop accepting money and other gifts from the alcohol industry until Texas passes a law that taxes and regulates the marijuana market in a manner similar to alcohol.

In 2003, Governor Rick Perry and the Texas State Legislature passed HB 1199, a bill that made it easier for alcohol distributors to pass alcohol sales initiatives in "dry" cities. While several alcohol industry groups and cities lobbied for the bill (including the Texas Municipal League, which represents over 1,100 member cities), not a single public health or law enforcement group publicly opposed it despite the tremendous social and economic cost of alcohol abuse.

Since the passage of HB 1199, 349 local alcohol sales initiatives have been approved across the state, and the number of "dry" counties has dropped from 51 to 29, according to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission. Moreover, elected representatives for Texas at the state and federal level of government have accepted nearly $11 million in campaign money from the alcohol industry since 2003, which has been overwhelmingly targeted at incumbent candidates.

According to Johnson, "If our elected officials can take millions of dollars from the alcohol industry, and make it easier for alcohol distributors to sell alcohol in cities, they have no excuse on the basis of public health and safety to continue to prohibit the marijuana market and punish adults for making the safer, rational choice of using marijuana."

The Safer Texas Campaign is not an anti-alcohol campaign, nor does it advocate the use of marijuana. However, the campaign will work to address the growing concern that state laws prohibiting the marijuana market are sending a dangerous message to the public that alcohol is more acceptable than marijuana, despite the fact that every objective study on alcohol and marijuana has shown marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol to both the user and to society.

Contact Craig Johnson 469-733-6769 | craig(at)protectyouth.org | ProtectYouth.org



Press Conference: October 12, 2010, 11:00AM
South Steps of the State Capitol Building
1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX



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