Marijuana vs Alcohol: Who is the Real Killer?
With the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use in states like Colorado, our societies are beginning to reevaluate the effects of the once taboo drug. Decades ago leaders like Ronald Regan pioneered efforts to eliminate all drug use. Since then, the “War on Drugs” has drained a ton of money from the government and seemed to only increase the black market for illegal substances.
A lot of people that are for the legalisation of cannabis on a recreational level argue that if you look at things realistically, it becomes clear that there is a need for the herb. One of the main points in this argument is comparing it to already legal and available substances like alcohol.
Safety Concerns of Marijuana and Alcohol
First we’ll take a look at the substances in their basic form and the direct damage they do to the body.
Alcohol is one of the leading killers on an annual basis when it comes to substance abuse. Since it is so widely available, people can easily become addicted to it. Used in excess, it can corrode your liver health, lead to diseases, and cause an overdose in only a single night of drinking.
Marijuana is a little bit different. The chemicals in the plant have never actually killed a single person. Studies show that in order to overdose on THC, you would have to ingest a superhuman amount of cannabis in a matter of seconds. The compounds in the drug don’t cause a physical addiction like alcohol. There are also no proven side effects from long-term use of the drug. If the legalisation of cannabis was finalised we wouldn’t have to worry about direct deaths coming from it.
Alcohol can dramatically impair your vision and hand eye coordination. Because of this it has lead to thousands of motor vehicle related deaths each year. It also causes aggressive behavior which can lead to violent encounters.
Marijuana’s most harmful effect on your ability to function is the delayed reaction time. It may be safer to drive under the influence of this drug but BY NO MEANS DOES THAT MEAN IT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU SHOULD DO. As far as behaviour, the effects of THC have shown to make people much more passive and friendly. It would be interesting to see if the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use counteracts the amount of violent crime and motor vehicle accidents.
Consider the Source
A key point in the comparison of marijuana and alcohol is considering where each one comes from. Alcohol is the byproduct of fermenting matter. Processes using machinery infuse the intoxicating substance with liquid before it is shipped off to the public.
Marijuana on the other hand is as simple and natural as growing fruit that is edible. The plant grows naturally in the ground and the extracted flowers are trimmed and immediately ready for consumption.
A pivotal point in the argument of marijuana and alcohol is the medical usage. Alcohol has virtually no modern relevance in the medical industry – other than disinfecting surfaces. It causes more harm than it does good. The legalisation of medical marijuana shows us that this drug has potentially amazing medicinal benefits.
It has been used for patients that suffer from cancer, seizures, sleep disorders, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and recent studies even suggest it has positive effects on children with autism. The list of medical benefits goes on for quite a while.
A Final Thought
So should we support the legalisation of cannabis? With the potential for financial gain and medical benefits many people are shifting their opinions to support the drug. If substances like cigarettes and alcohol that kill thousands are already available, it might even provide a healthy alternative for them.
The legalization of marijuana may be a controversial issue but if you step back and look at the big picture the answer might become a little more clear for you. Even when alcohol was illegal it created a criminal industry that thrived under it. If we legalise this substance it will weaken the crime syndicates that are profiting from it and put money into our own economy.
We do not advocate or support the use of any drug. The purpose of this article is an attempt to share a viewpoint on the legality, benefits and dangers of the aforementioned substances. Speak to a health professional for further advice.
What do you think about marijuana and alcohol? Should it be legalised? What are some of the pros and cons of doing so? Comment below and let us know!
Adam St. Pierre
Image Credits: Flickr