Herb Lindberg: Deaths from alcohol and marijuana | TheUnion.com

Herb Lindberg: Deaths from alcohol and marijuana

Sure, there are “now about 100,000 alcohol-related deaths per year, and tens of billions of dollars in medical costs” and we can expect something similar if Prop. 64 passes.

But this is only half of the story, and proceeding with half the facts has the same effect as proceeding with wrong facts. Norton Lehner disregards the hundreds of millions of hours of relief and happiness provided during social gatherings with alcohol or marijuana.

Estimate that on average one-tenth of the U.S. population of 325 million consumes alcohol once a week on one occasion or another, or just to relax after work, a very conservative number. That’s 5.2 times 325 million — or 1.69 billion — occasions per year of relief and happiness provided by legal access to alcohol.

In terms of deaths, that’s 16,900 happy occasions per death, or expressed the other way, 0.0000625 deaths per happy occasion. That’s why people drink, not because of industry advertising.

Herb Lindberg

Penn Valley

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