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5 scientific reasons smoking weed is actually safer than drinking

If you believe anti-drug campaigners, one puff on a joint is likely to turn you into a slavering, insane wreck – and lead to you murdering your entire family for money for skunk.

Not so, according to the latest scientific research.

In fact there are a lot of ways in which smoking a joint is actually healthier than reaching for a beer – here’s five.

MORE: America to open its first cannabis theme park

1) Scientists think weed is 114 times safer than alcohol

Cannabis could actually be the safest drug available, after a study found it is actually 114 times less deadly than alcohol, according to the journal, Scientific Reports.

The reports‘ authors studied the effects of alcohol, heroin, cocaine, tobacco, ecstasy, crystal meth and cannabis.

2) Alcohol is MORE of a gateway drug than cannabis

For years, anti-drug campaigners have rabbited on about how weed is a ‘gateway’ drug, leading impressionable youngsters on to harder stuff.

But new research has shown that alcohol is actually more of a gateway drug. Much more.

Treatment4Addiction used data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to track how people progress from one drug to harder substances.

While around 60 per cent of cannabis users went on to try other drugs, 88 per cent began with alcohol.

3) It’s safer to drive stoned than to drive drunk

It’s a terrible idea to drive while you’re either drunk OR stoned – but driving drunk is worse, a University of Oregon scientist claims.

Benjamin Hansen says that if people who drank chose to smoke weed instead, it might actually be safer for the population.

Hansen points out, however, that the safest thing of all is to do neither.

Speaking to LiveScience, Hansen, who has studied marijuana legalisation and driving accidents, says there is not much data which proves marijuana causes accidents.

A 2009 study in the American Journal of Addictions found that marijuana only caused a modest reduction in driving ability in a driving simulator.

4) Weed is far less addictive than alcohol – in fact it’s less addictive than coffee

Coffee’s addictive effects mean that it might actually be a more harmful drug than weed, an expert has argued.

Matthew Lazenka, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System argued this year in Science 2.0 that caffeine ticks off just as many boxes as for drug abuse as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

5) Alcohol kills 2.5 million people every year. Weed kills… guess how many?

Yep, that would be none. Alcohol kills 2.5 million people per year worldwide, according to World Health Organisation data.

Cannabis doesn’t kill anyone.

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