| Posted on Mon, August, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
People spend a lot of time comparing cannabis to alcohol. Fair enough. The two substances do have a couple things in common. They both get a lot of hate from people, they both suffered through long years of prohibition, and they both alter the way we see the world. But putting the two up against each other in a one-on-one comparison? It may seem like a good idea but are these two substances comparable enough to actually have that be a fair turnout?
Alcohol has been around for a really, really long time. Fermentation and distilling and the process of making alcoholic beverages is considered a craft, something that not everyone can do. Which is true. The process of making beer and liquor is long and arduous, not for those who aren't motivated. And the substance can definitely be enjoyed in moderation, as is the case with most things that exist in our world. The alcohol industry rakes money in, creates jobs, and produces a product that is one of the top selling consumer items on the market, especially with the economy being where it is. All of these things seem great but is booze really that fantastic? With a high rate of overdosing, maybe not. Alcohol's effects are also far more potent as compared to marijuana, causing double vision, impaired judgement, and terrible coordination. And when someone experiencing these effects gets behind the wheel of a car or does something else that may cause harm to the user and others, the situation has the potential to get really bad.
In the US alone, there are 88,000 deaths a year that are contributed to excessive use of alcohol. This legal substance that is sold at almost every corner store is the third leading lifestyle related cause of death in the nation. Over consumption of alcohol has lead to 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually or in other words, each person who died from alcohol consumption could have lived an average of 30 years after their death, had they not consumed the alcohol. In the year 2006, there were 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 physician office visits that were found out to be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Additionally, the economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006? An estimated $223.5 billion.
So after reading those numbers, alcohol looks pretty terrible. It's also legal, which makes the fact that it's so dangerous even more appalling. Compared to marijuana, alcohol looks like the monster that hides in every child's closet. Seeing as how there are no ACTUAL recorded deaths that were directly caused by cannabis (at least none that my half hour scour of Google showed me), it would appear that cannabis should clearly be legal and alcohol should be the one that's outlawed. Cannabis causes no deaths, it's virtually impossible to overdose on the substance, and it doesn't produce the same mind altering effects that alcohol does. There is no double vision, no abundance of over-sociableness, and no random urges to punch the stranger next to you in the face because he likes the Raiders instead of the Patriots.
But while cannabis doesn't have any deaths chalked up to it's use this far, there are scattered reports that since the legalization began, there have been a handful of deaths that were a direct effect of marijuana ingestion. Relating mostly to edibles, these stories are pretty scary and leave some people wondering if there may be some kinds of brain that don't handle THC the same as others. Perhaps certain underlying causes contribute to this incredibly violent psychoactive behavior? Or maybe just the low tolerance of these users is what causes the reaction. Or perhaps the person was ready to snap and these incidents are just coincidences. The reasoning behind the incidents is unclear but seeing as how an overdose of marijuana would involve ingesting 1,500 pounds in around 15 minutes, it's highly unlikely that these deaths were caused directly by cannabis consumption.
In regards to driving while under the influence of cannabis, traffic accidents in Colorado are actually down from the normal yearly average. And while that in no way means that you should be getting baked and driving, it does show that people aren't being dumb about the new laws. The citizens of Colorado are showing that with legalization comes the concept of moderation, the key to using any substance, legal or not. In addition, teen use of the plant is also on the decline, compared to outstanding amounts of teen alcohol use.
What is the bottom line? Cannabis and alcohol cannot really be compared. The two substances produce different effects for the person using them. For example, if two college kids are playing shot for shot (or hit for hit, in the case of cannabis) and one kid passes out and the other doesn't because one drank or smoked a little too much, is it the fault of the substance? No. User error. Substances will exist whether we create them or not. Nature creates plants and animals (referring to some toads that apparently can make you trip out if you touch them? May be a myth... Don't touch toads regardless) that get other animals intoxicated. You don't see deer and bees running their little cars off of the road, do you? Or perhaps rabbits that eat pot plants geeking out and jumping off of buildings? The odd human desire for "more" takes over, creating issues that can lead to serious injury or in some unfortunate cases, death. People do not know how to moderate their substance intake, creating the few problems outlined above. If the human race could learn how to moderate, only take what they need and nothing more, then substance abuse would no longer be an issue.