Is pot more dangerous than alcohol?

8:01 PM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
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Medical marijuana

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- President Obama says he hopes his children won't smoke pot, something he admitted to doing some time ago.

The president made his comments in a New Yorker magazine interview. Regarding marijuana, he told its editor: "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

RELATEDObama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol

Michael Reagan has worked in substance abuse treatment for decades. He notes surveys show marijuana use is increasing in our nation's young people; more of them use it every day. They are addicts.

"He says its no more dangerous than alcohol-- well the message is alcohol is dangerous," said Reagan. "It also slows down brain development, so its not just a feel good drug, it affects centers of the brain that relate to cognition and memory."

President Obama understands that. "He doesn't want his children using it... what parents say to their kids is how they really feel," said Reagan.

Grand Rapids has effectively decriminalized the personal use of pot in private and the president says legalization is no panacea. He also feels that punishment is not the way to deal with the pot problem.

Reagan says marijuana is not the most terrible drug in the world, nor is it benign, especially for young people; he says it appears the president understands that balance. Michael Reagan has worked in substance abuse treatment for decades.

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