Melbourne: A leading alcohol researcher has called for marijuana to be legalised to reduce harm of binge drinking in teenagers.

Robin Room, director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, has claimed that the social harm associated with pot was significantly less than from drinking, and so it should be legalised under strict controls, a website reported.

Room said that teenagers would not smoke marijuana or drink alcohol to excess in an ideal world, but they use substances, they would likely land themselves in less trouble after using cannabis rather than bingeing on alcohol.

He said that teens were ‘better off’ on a mixture of booze and marijuana rather than just pure alcohol in social settings.

The researcher said that cannabis is not without harm but it's substantially less than alcohol and tobacco in terms of social harm.

Room added that if marijuana were legalised, it should not be sold in supermarkets nor advertised on TV or at sporting matches.

(Agencies)

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