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If faced with two bad choices — kids smoking pot or drinking booze — a pediatrician said he’d rather his children choose marijuana.

In The New York Times, Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, wrote that alcohol’s harms far outweigh those of marijuana:

There’s little question that marijuana carries with it risks to people who use it, as well as to the nation. The number of people who will be hurt from it, will hurt others because of it, begin to abuse it, and suffer negative consequences from it are certainly greater than zero. But looking only at those dangers, and refusing to grapple with them in the context of our society’s implicit consent for alcohol use in young adults, is irrational.

When someone asks me whether I’d rather my children use pot or alcohol, after sifting through all the studies and all the data, I still say “neither.” Usually, I say it more than once. But if I’m forced to make a choice, the answer is “marijuana.”

Carroll supports his argument with statistics on intoxicated driving, binge-drinking and heavy pot use as well as studies on substances and violence.

Parents, if faced with this devil’s choice, what would you prefer and why? Responses (including names, but not contact information) might be featured in a follow-up post.

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