Was President Barack Obama right when he said marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol? Science says yes. (Photo by RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Was Obama right in saying marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol?

In a 2014 New Yorker interview, President Barack Obama said, “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Were his comments accurate? Cannabis industry attorney Christian Sederberg says yes, that it’s a scientific fact.

“What [POTUS] said was that, on an individual basis, marijuana use…moderate marijuana use is…possibly less harmful than moderate alcohol use,” Sederberg says. “And that is a scientific fact.”

Sederberg points out that a larger issue is that messages to kids about the dangers of marijuana should be mentioning alcohol, as well. “There are studies that show a reduction in IQ if you use alcohol in high school,” he adds. “So the idea that we spend a lot of money and create programs where we’re not educating youth on both alcohol and marijuana use, we run the risk of doing a disservice and possibly harm.”

Watch the full episode of The Cannabist Show