On Wednesday, Loretta Lynch appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing over her nomination to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general. She avoided making any comments that will threaten her candidacy, but did break from President Barack Obama on one issue: marijuana.
When Senator Jeff Sessions asked if she agreed with the president that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, Lynch responded, “I certainly don’t hold that view and don’t agree with that view of marijuana. I certainly think the president was speaking from his personal experience, personal opinion … neither of which I am able to share.”
It’s not just personal experience or opinion that leads Obama to believe alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana. It’s cold, hard fact.
A 2010 study in the journal Lancet graded the dangers of 20 different drugs on 16 different criteria—nine related to the harms the drugs do to individuals and seven related to harms to others. On both an individual and societal level, alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana. In fact, alcohol is far more dangerous than most drugs. Last year, the Washington Post created this helpful graph to display the results:
In fact, it’s not even controversial now to assert that pot is safer than booze. In a Pew poll released last April, 69 percent of respondents agreed with that position. Only 15 percent said alcohol was the more dangerous drug. Loretta Lynch is apparently part of that 15 percent.