French Government Report: Marijuana Poses Less Danger Than Alcohol 6/19/98

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- Reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org

June 18, 1998, Paris, France:  Smoking marijuana poses less of a threat to public health than the regular consumption of alcohol, determined a French government commissioned report Tuesday.
 
"The report again shows that the basis [for policies prohibiting marijuana] is totally wrong," spokesman for the Greens party announced in a prepared statement.  The party is calling for a federal review of the nation's drug policies.

Marijuana has low toxicity, little addictive power, and poses only a minor threat to social behavior, researchers at the French medical institute INSERM concluded.  The report identified alcohol, heroin, and cocaine as the drugs most dangerous to health.  Tobacco, psychotropic drugs, tranquilizers, and hallucinogens were placed in a second, less harmful group.  Marijuana was classified in a third category of substances defined as posing relatively little danger.

"This federally commissioned report concludes, just as the World Health Organization did earlier this year, that marijuana smoking does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation.

Junior Health Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the report's findings would not encourage the federal government to consider decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana.  He called the report "toxicologically correct but politically wrong."  Kouchner's office paid for the INSERM study.

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Issue #46, 6/19/98 McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement "a devious fraud" -- Senator Biden Proposes Hearings | Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes Senate, but Legislation Will Likely Fizzle | Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical Boards | Report on the Heroin Maintenance Conference in New York | Money Laundering Sting Sparks International Incident | Royal Canadian Mounted Police Aided in Money Laundering | Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Recommends Decriminalization | French Government Report: Marijuana Poses Less Danger Than Alcohol | District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up | Editorial: A Marker on the Path to Sanity
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