Should Lance Armstrong's new team be sponsored by marijuana?

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Mason Tvert is brilliant at making any subject about marijuana -- but he's really outdone himself this time. In his latest media jeremiad, the head of SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation) goes after bicycle racer Lance Armstrong for becoming the new spokesman for Michelob Ultra, a brew that's aimed at "health-minded drinkers" -- because beer is the new wheat germ, right? Tvert's gripe: Beer is more dangerous and "cancer-causing" than his favorite smokable substance.

Actually, there's something to be said for Armstrong switching from booze to weed. He's been accused in plenty of quarters of trying to enhance his biking through dubious methods -- but if he raced after inhaling something that's actually a performance detractor, any victories would be that much more impressive.

Look below for Tvert's take.

National Organization Calls on Lance Armstrong to Stop Promoting a Substance Far More Harmful and Cancer-Causing Than Marijuana -- ALCOHOL

Group calls USA Cycling member's new Anheuser-Busch endorsement shocking in light of his personal battle with cancer, hypocritical in light of USA Swimming's treatment of Michael Phelps

"Michael Phelps was punished for using a substance that has never caused cancer; Lance Armstrong is making money promoting one that does"

DENVER -- A pro-marijuana organization is calling on superstar cyclist Lance Armstrong to end his new endorsement deal with beer giant Anheuser-Busch ( http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gGxYIO60j9_KTc8CE-nMPqMMsROgD9B5R8CO1 ) because it promotes the use of a substance far more harmful and cancer-causing than marijuana -- alcohol. Denver-based Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), which works to educate the public about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol, says it is irresponsible of Armstrong to promote a substance that has been directly linked to several forms of cancer. The organization is also calling the USA Cycling team member's deal hypocritical, particularly in light of USA Swimming's treatment of team member Michael Phelps.

It has long been known that alcohol use contributes to various types of cancer, whereas the latest research on marijuana has concluded that it does not contribute to cancer. A recent study published in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, found that consumption of beer boosted the odds of developing many kinds of cancer, including esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and lung cancer. It concluded that "moderate drinkers" (those who consume between one and six drinks per week) are 67% more likely to get stomach cancer, and "heavy beer drinkers" have a 53% increased risk of developing rectal cancer and are 46% times more likely to get lung cancer.

"Lance Armstrong should immediately end his endorsement deal with Anheuser-Busch and stop promoting a substance that has been conclusively linked to the development of several forms of cancer," said SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert, coauthor of the recently released book, Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?

"Michael Phelps was punished for using a substance that has never caused cancer," Tvert said. "Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong is making money promoting one that does. Why is it perfectly acceptable for a world-class athlete to endorse a substance that contributes to more than 33,000 American deaths each year according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as hundreds of thousands of violent crimes and injuries? Yet a world-class athlete like Michael Phelps is ridiculed, punished, and forced to apologize for marijuana, the use of which contributes to ZERO deaths, and has never been linked to violent or reckless behavior.

"Perhaps it has something to do with the USA Olympic Committee's ties to Anheuser-Busch," Tvert said.

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