Which Drug Is the Best, Worst, Most Dangerous: Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana, Heroin or Caffeine?

What does the future hold for California's experiment with marijuana as medicine?

USA Today: Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol

President Obama says marijuana use is no more dangerous than alcohol, though he regards it as a bad habit he hopes his children will avoid.

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,'' he said in a magazine interview. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

He said marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.''

"It's not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy," he said.

Obama made his remarks in a series of interviews with The New Yorker, which published a story about the conversations in its Jan. 27 issue and on its website.

Marijuana remains illegal to possess or sell under federal law, although Colorado and Washington have adopted state laws making it legal to possess and use small amounts. A number of states have decriminalized the weed and authorized it for medical uses.

Obama said he was troubled by the disproportionate arrests and imprisonment of minorities on marijuana charges.

"Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.

Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler: Obama Praises CVS for Pulling All Tobacco Products from Its Shelves

Drugstore chain CVS got a shout out from President Obama after announcing this morning that it would stop selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores across the country.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Caremark. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

“As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners. The significant action we’re taking today by removing tobacco products from our retail shelves further distinguishes us in how we are serving our patients, clients and health care providers and better positions us for continued growth in the evolving health care marketplace,” Merlo added.


CNN: How heroin kills you

 The autopsy results aren't in yet, but police believe heroin played a role in the death of Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman -- if not the primary role.

Using heroin can kill you, but it may not be in the way you think. If Hoffman did die from using heroin, his death was atypical in some aspects. Here's how heroin kills.


Most people die from heroin overdoses when their bodiesforget to breathe.

"Heroin makes someone calm and a little bit sleepy, but if you take too much then you can fall asleep, and when you are asleep your respiratory drive shuts down," said Dr. Karen Drexler, director of the addiction psychiatry residency training program and an associate professor in Emory University's psychiatry and behavioral sciences department.

"Usually when you are sleeping, your body naturally remembers to breathe. In the case of a heroin overdose, you fall asleep and essentially your body forgets."

A heroin overdose can also cause your blood pressure to dip significantly and cause your heart to fail.