The results of a recent study in the Netherlands confirmed the long-held claim by supporters of marijuana policy reform that marijuana is much safer than alcohol, specifically as it relates to violent behavior. According to the findings, alcohol users demonstrated more aggressive tendencies while intoxicated than while sober, while marijuana users became less aggressive while under the influence.
The Washington Post reports:
They found, first of all, that “alcohol intoxication increased subjective aggression in the alcohol group.” The alcohol users, in other words, acted more aggressive when they were drunk than they did when they were sober. By contrast, the smokers became less aggressive when they were high.
These findings held through both the self-assessments — alcohol users rated themselves as more aggressive when drunk — and through the responses to the tests: The drinkers tried harder to undermine their computer opponents when they were drunk. But the smokers actually acted less aggressive toward their computer opponents when they were high.
“The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression,” the researchers conclude.