I know, weird question. Because of course you would say I wouldn't want my teen to use either. Below is a fascinating article written by a pediatrician, who was asked that question by a parent of one of his teen patients. The research he conducted in order to give this parent a thoughtful response rather than a knee jerk response is quite thought provoking. To summarize in brief. More teens die from alcohol related incidents than from pot. Drunk driving and alcohol poisoning are the two most obvious, and than there are the alcohol fuel sexual assault cases, that are occurring with way too much regularly on college campuses. Below is also an article from the NY Times describing a private Facebook page that a fraternity at Penn State created to post photos of girls who were passed out in the midst of having black-out sex, or in various stages of undress; only for the eyes of fellow Greeks of course! Thank god for a "brother" with a conscience who gave evidence of these heinous acts to the police and the press.
On the other hand, pot pretty harmless in the safety department. Of course there are other things to be worried about pot, including changes in motivation and intellectual capacity, and a gateway to more serious drug use.
So here is my answer. If you have a teen who is a recreational pot user, meaning he/she gets high once a week with friends for a weekend treat, I wouldn't be too worried. If you have a teen who is using pot regularly to deal with anxiety and life, there is cause for worry. Comparatively speaking, I would be worried by a teen who gets totally trashed/drunk once a week with friends for a weekend treat.
And please, talk to your daughters about the dangers of being compromised by alcohol. They are prime targets for sexual assaults, unwanted sex, and set ups for being humiliated. I am not blaming the victim here, but when a girl is too out of it to protect herself, she leaves herself open to abuse. Please read the Penn State article with your teen, and any others I post, especially if you have kids going off to college. I know "party hearty" is the battle cry for college students everywhere, but they need to be safe and prepared for anything these days!!