It’s official: the U.S. government’s top drug cop has acknowledged that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin.
At a meeting with reporters yesterday at the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration, acting chief Chuck Rosenberg said that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana,” Matt Ferner of the Huffington Post reports. This clarifies a statement he made last week, when he told reporters that marijuana was “probably not” as dangerous as heroin, adding “I’m not an expert.”
This shouldn’t be news. Researchers have known for decades that marijuana is a much safer substance than heroin — and nearly all other psychoactive drugs, for that matter. Heroin overdoses kill thousands of people each year, while marijuana has no known toxic dose. It’s considerably less habit-forming than heroin, alcohol, nicotine and other drugs. And medical marijuana treatments hold a lot of potential — particularly as an alternative to dangerous prescription painkillers.