Deputy drug czar reluctantly admits marijuana is less deadly than alcohol
The deputy director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy admitted Tuesday that marijuana was less deadly than alcohol, but insisted that pot was not a benign drug.
At a House Oversight Committee hearing, the drug czar’s second-in-command, Michael Botticelli, received a stern questioning from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) about the harms of marijuana in light of President Barack Obama recent comments on the subject.
“How many people die from marijuana overdoses every year?” Connolly asked.
“I don’t know that I know. It is very rare,” Botticelli replied.
“Very rare. Now just contrast that with prescription drugs, unintentional deaths from prescription drugs, one American dies every 19 minutes,” Connolly said. “Nothing comparable to marijuana. Is that correct?”
Botticelli admitted that was true.
“Alcohol — hundreds of thousands of people die every year from alcohol related deaths: automobile [accidents], liver disease, esophageal cancer, blood poisoning,” Connolly continued. “Is that incorrect?”
But Botticelli refused to answer.