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Cannabis versus Alcohol: Health Effects
Alcohol use is Legal, yet Cannabis use is Illegal
Many cannabis users all over the world question why alcohol is legal when it is still illegal to use cannabis. The negative effects on a person’s health are much great when consuming alcohol than they are when consuming cannabis; there are many, many deaths each year attributed to alcohol consumption and very little attributed to cannabis consumption. The financial and social impact of alcohol and the crimes associated with alcohol use is immense every year, where the same impact due to cannabis use is minimal.
So is it not fair then that many people worldwide ask why cannabis use is criminalised yet alcohol use isn’t?
The Health Effects of Alcohol
- Alcohol is a depressant and as such causes unnatural brain processes that can cause anxiety and depression.
- Alcohol causes damage to your heart, which one of the damaging effects that you don’t see.
- Alcohol consumption can lead to cancer: the consumption of alcohol can help cause stomach cancer, bowel cancer and liver cancer.
- One of the main issues caused by alcohol consumption is liver damage. The liver is a very important organ of the body which helps cleanse the body of toxins and without a healthy liver you won’t be a healthy person.
- Alcohol consumption and deteriorated liver health means that more toxins flow through your blood and take longer to be expelled from the body. This leads to 2 very undesirable consequences: the first is that your brain function is compromised and (not to even mention hangovers) can leave you with a ‘foggy’ brain and no clarity of thought; but even more alarming for some is the fact that this flow of toxins affects your skin by making it blotchy and unhealthy looking and leads to premature signs of aging.
- Alcohol can damage the pancreas and lead to Diabetes.
- Alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
- Alcohol can affect your sexual health: in women it can reduce your fertility and chances of conceiving; for men it can reduce your libido and virility.
The Health Effects of Cannabis
- Cannabis use can cause anxiety and paranoia.
- Cannabis use can cause depression.
- The use of some strains of cannabis such as White Widow and Pineapple Chunk can cause hallucinations which some people do not like.
- Smoking cannabis can worsen asthma and even lead to lung cancer.
Summary Question: Should Cannabis Use be Illegal While Drinking Alcohol is Still Legal?
From looking at the health effects alone the case is pretty clearly in favour of cannabis use; but when you also take into account the socioeconomic problems caused by alcohol and the fact that these problems could be easily negated if cannabis was consumed instead of alcohol you will see that the scales are very much weighted one side.
On the question of whether cannabis should be legalised or not I would have to agree with the cannabis users out there and the many thousands of people that gather for the 420 rallies every year and say that there is a strong case for the legalisation of cannabis.
Legislation Announced To Legalize Marijuana In New York
The State of Colorado Relaxes its Marijuana Laws
Archaic Cannabis Laws
The old outdated laws that criminalise cannabis use are regarded by many in North America to be laws that have past their time and need to be revised for many reasons, if not only the absurd reasons that it was banned in the first place. It was claimed in The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 that: “Two weeks ago a sex-mad degenerate, named Lee Fernandez, brutally attacked a young Alamosa girl. He was convicted of assault with intent to rape and sentenced to 10 to 14 years in the state penitentiary. Police officers here know definitely that Fernandez was under the influence of marihuana” and silly statements such as “…a boy and a girl…lost their senses so completely after smoking marihuana that they eloped and were married” and “It is commonly used as an aphrodisiac, and its continued use leads to impotency”. These obviously ridiculous statements are idiotic reasons to still keep marijuana under an illegal status.
Thanks to the help of the annual 420 rallies America has made major steps in legalising cannabis and the latest of these steps happened in Colorado in 2012. In Colorado it is now legal to possess and carry a small amount of marijuana. Marijuana hasn’t been made legal but the new amendment, amendment 64, has been passed decriminalising the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Denver 420 Rally
To celebrate amendment 64 the city of Denver Colorado decided to host a massive 420 rally in 2013 which a reported 80,000 people attended. The 420 rallies are set in cities all over North America annually on 20th April. The purpose of the rallies are to peacefully demonstrate and put the point across to the government that there are many thousands or millions of people that want to see marijuana legalised. Although the 420 rallies in Denver were marred by a shooting incident this incident was not associated with the struggle to legalise cannabis.
The First Annual United States Cannabis Cup
The cannabis cup is a major event in Europe already, but until 2013 there hadn’t been an official annual cannabis cup in the United States. With the recent relaxation of cannabis laws in Colorado, as well as its first 420 rally, Denver also decided to host the first annual United States cannabis cup. The cannabis cup event makes awards to marijuana breeders for new or great strains of marijuana. Great strains such as the now famous Iced Grapefruit strain have made their name in the cannabis cup and have now become favourites of many pot smokers all over the world.
Marijuana legalisation advantages to the US economy
The legalisation of marijuana would bring a lot of advantages to the American economy. The largest of these advantages would be the ability for the government to tax the sales of marijuana and marijuana products such as marijuana seeds. The marijuana trade which currently benefits organised crime is a multi-billion dollar industry and would bring billions of dollars in tax revenue to the American government, which they could then spend on things such as health and education.
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