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Which is Worse: Marijuana or Alcohol?

Updated on September 11, 2015
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This article tries to tackle a commonly asked question. Believe it or not, the answer is very simple and there's really no counter-argument for it. However, if you disagree with the last statement, do feel free to leave a comment below.

If you agree with what I say and think that others should know too, do share, vote and comment.

Message me for any queries.

It's Impossible

You can't compare the two because any argument that says "weed is bad because it causes severe mental health problems" or "alcohol is bad because it causes severe rage, depression etc." Is assuming that a person is taking enough of the substance to cause any damage at all. You could take both in moderation and see no effects whatsoever. The quantity matters a lot: you could only ask the question "Is 5 beers worse than 2 spliffs?" And name the beers and marijuana you're using.

Only then can you can answer based on scientific evidence.

Not quite true.
Not quite true. | Source

Then why should weed be banned and alcohol shouldn't?

Human nature.

The reason weed is banned is because it causes immediate psychological effects from just small amounts. Furthermore, the point of smoking weed is to get high whilst the point of drinking is not always to get drunk.

When people compare weed with alcohol they think about people who are high and people who are drunk. But most drinkers do not get drunk whilst most people who smoke weed get high. It is not common for people to smoke tiny quantities of weed to get a small effect, but it is social standard to have a few drinks with your friends or partner to relax. This is the core reason for why cannabis is illegal and alcohol is not.

To ban alcohol would be to punish the majority of the population who drink responsibly for the actions of the (albeit significant) minority of people abusing alcohol and getting effected.

Lastly, alcohol has a way of preventing people from overdosing on it (passing out, throwing up) whilst people can and will keep on taking weed indefinitely, intensifying its effects.

Thus, I can conclude for you that neither is worse than the other, because you are judging something that you have not set quantities for.

However, you can argue that due to the nature of a human being, making marijuana illegal has positive effects on society, since it warns that even moderate use of cannabis can have serious effects on the body, and that humans are prone to overdoing things that make them feel good and should keep away.

So put out that weed before it messes you up and don't drink too much either!
So put out that weed before it messes you up and don't drink too much either!

Do you think cannabis should be legal or illegal?

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    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      The term for intoxication is DUI (driving under the influence, of any substance) and the tests are the same for all. If you can't pass a field sobriety test you are DUI no matter what the "I" is be it alcohol, pot, cough syrup or anything else.

      There are standard blood tests for pot that show just how intoxicated someone is just as there are for alcohol.

      So determining a person's state of intoxication isn't much different for either.

      I've smoked a lot of pot over the years and I can say in absolute honesty that I have yet to encounter any "alerted, enhanced" weed. If you are getting good pot there is no need to alter it. Better pot comes from better growing and breeding techniques. It is still just pot,,, and I've smoked the best there is without any ill effects. The best thing about it is that you only need to smoke a very small amount when compared to what we had back in the days.

      The Netherlands found the number of people using pot to be twice that of alcohol but they also found that they had very few problems with those people until they added alcohol to the mix.

      Likewise people involved in crimes and or accidents who are high on pot are virtually always under the influence of other things as well, usually alcohol.

      Who are the powers against pot?

      To start with the DEA, one of the most corrupt agencies in the US government. When the “Drug Czar” was asked about the harmful effects that might come if California legalized pot his first answer was that it would be a terrible blow to the prison system!!

      In case you aren’t aware of it the prison industry in America is huge and they make a fortune on locking people up for drug use, with no other crime, and prostitution, with no other crime.

      Add to that the $4+ Billion spent on useless enforcement that could be used to help people with substance problems and you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg of what government spends.

      The next BIG players are the alcohol industry, who spend a fortune keeping politicians in their pockets against letting any other substance ever becoming legal.

      Finally you have the drug underworld, who funnel money into the pockets of politicians who are the strongest anti drug players. Though those politicians don’t get the money directly and are probably unaware of its source.

      What we know to be an absolute fact is that the “war on drugs” is a total abject failure. That is true of all drugs not just pot. The amounts on the street are growing, not shrinking. The DEA is powerless to stop it and all of the anti-drug policies have failed miserably.

      We know for a fact that if a person, of any age, wants to get drugs they can get them just as easily as alcohol, often easier.

      We know that to buy that pot they are coming into contact with people who want to offer them other far worse drugs that the pusher makes more money on. Do you think a gang banger asks for an ID to make sure the buyer is over 21?

      What we are doing isn’t working and it is time to switch tactics. Smoking in the US is falling like a brick because of education about tobacco not because it is hard to get it.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Borsia, I think these arguments are going to be quite circular because a lot of the data is simply unknown. We won't know soon with any certainty how often and why the majority of people use the substances.

      I suppose the last defence against legalising weed is that it would be impossible to regulate the law. You can't drive whilst high, or operate machinery whilst high - how will people know if they're sufficiently high enough to not be able to drive or not?

      Alcohol is easy, there are clear units that one can't surpass. What is the unit for THC in marijuana? How can we measure 'highness'? And then if the government says "only this kind of weed of this particular strength can be sold and you're only allowed 1 joint and anymore prevents you from driving" you know that people will still buy the tampered THC enhanced illegal weed or say "I've been smoking weed all my life, I'm not high yet."

      Arguably, legalising the most used illegal drug in the world would just end up in more damages. Looking at the Netherlands in the IMMORTAL European study you see that twice as many people were found to be under the influence of weed than they were under the influence of alcohol in a random sample.

      http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-2005-09.pdf

      Lastly, legalising marijuana would make a fortune in tax for the government! Who are these political opponents who have the power to overturn drug laws?

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      PT; you can't compare the effects of the two because they are not even similar. A pot high is, for many, a much better feeling and experience not to mention no hangover.

      Your statement that people only do pot to get high is also way off in that people only do alcohol to get high.

      People rarely drink anything alcoholic just because they love the taste they drink it because it is alcohol, one of the strongest drugs in the world.

      I had a wonderful massage today it was great! But they aren’t really a social thing.

      If you are meeting up with friends, going to a party or even just sitting around the house watching TV you can’t pop open or light up a massage. So please don’t try to put it into the mix as alternatives to getting high.

      Pot isn’t legal because of the powerful opponents who are making huge money from it being illegal. It has nothing to do with it being dangerous or destructive. The US and other governments have collectively spent billions on studies to try to prove that pot is bad for more than 50 years. The best they can come up with is that it might be harmful to your respiratory system. That along with some extremely vague and unsubstantiated claims that it might, I repeat might, have detrimental affects on short term memory.

      But these are government tests and time has proven that their results are anything but objective or honest.

      In the one country that legalized it the only problem that arose was traffic from the influx of tourists, nothing directly related to the drug or its use.

      I wrote a quick hub the other day about a comparative test done by college students on the effects of the 2. The test may not be scientifically done to perfection but it is just as valid as any test the US government ever did.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Ahh thank you, that's very interesting. Though you must know people who smoke to get high?

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      No, I like to share a joint with friends just to feel relaxed not to feel off my face. I like the feeling of being softened round the edges and calm.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Mmm that's very true Peanutritious. May I ask you, do you smoke mostly to get high?

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      The feeling of relaxation marijuana gives you is very different to that of alcohol, I find anyway. If I am feeling a bit depressed or angry about something, alcohol exacerbates it. Marijuana makes me feel relaxed and content whatever mood i'm in. You don't go out on a Friday night and see people fighting because they've smoked too much weed.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thanks for the input as always Borsia.

      Maybe it's because I'm still young and there's a lot of bravado about being high that I have the impression that people only smoke weed to get high. Unfortunately, there's no real test that will ever let us know how much weed people take in a single session. Sadly though, I know children who are known to get high, of course they get drunk as well.

      And I don't dispute that alcohol does more damage to society than weed, but weed isn't legalised and you can't buy it from the local corner shop for ridiculously low prices. Yet despite weed's (comparatively) high price and (comparatively) low accessibility it's still a societal problem and I think that says a lot about its usage.. Why would someone actively decide to buy weed to relax when there is the cheaper, easier to get option of alcohol?

      What I can see is that people get high simply because they want the euphoria.

      I think that's really the only evidence I can provide for my statement that people smoke weed to get high - If they wanted to relax, why not a massage or a beer?

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      PT; of those who drink something like 5-10% have what would be described as an "alcohol problem" and of those a smaller number could be realistically tagged as hard core alcoholics. There are however many who can't make it through the night without their chosen spirit who aren't considered to have a problem but do.

      The numbers for recreational drug users is roughly the same for almost all drugs, not just pot.

      When you compare just pot users the number are better and there is no such thing as being physically addicted to pot, not to say that there aren't potaholics.

      pot vs alcohol for relaxation; your claim that drinkers don't drink for the feeling of relaxation or a buzz is pure BS. For every pot smoker who "bombs out" there are a thousand "Joe 6 packs" who bomb out on beer or whatever their spirit is. For every guy who takes a few puffs at lunch there are thousands of 3 martini lunches and people drinking a few while out of sight.

      That alcohol does more damage than pot isn’t disputed by any credited study.

      That you don’t know anyone who takes a few hits just to relax only indicates that you don’t know very many smokers,,, I know many.

      I don’t, however, know any beer drinkers who stop at one with the exception of myself.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Borsia, I spent ages researching the detrimental health effects of one or two beers, or a glass of wine and found nothing. In fact only health benefits were given! Most people only drink casually (I don't know this, just from my own experience - but alcohol sales are high and alcoholics are not many!) and so alcohol in general doesn't have a bad effect.

      Getting high has been proven to be harmful to our health and the point of smoking weed is to get high. I've never met anyone that said "yeah I'll just take a toke of this joint to relax" it's always been enough to get completely blitz'd haha.

      I think that's the difference personally.

      And I think the government would benefit tremendously economically if they legalised weed, but it's just not the right thing to do!

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 5 years ago from Delhi

      Thankyou borsia, your comment is strengthening my viewpoint!

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      All of the research has been done many times and that has proven the alcohol is one of the most toxic things you can put in your body.

      Worse than almost any other drug, including heroin and cocaine.

      The only drugs that do more damage are Meth and possibly crack.

      Weed on the other hand is the least harmful of all recreational drugs.

      It is, in fact, impossible to overdose on weed and equally impossible to become addicted to weed (physically).

      So the answer is rather obvious.

      Why is alcohol legal and weed not?

      entirely due to the powerful lobby against it and the constant stream of lies about it from those who profit from it being illegal..

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      I do and I even agree! :)

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 5 years ago from Delhi

      philantrophy, i agree with you and thats why i expressed it as my view and not as a rule...however, everything has negatives and some positives as well but concederations shud be made on the probabilties of guds than the bads. i hope you understand my viewpoint! ...thankyou!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Shara, personally I agree with you and that is why I don't smoke weed or drink anymore! But I wouldn't go so far as to say an all out ban is needed, for some, alcohol has positive ends that otherwise they wouldn't have been able to afford! I think with things such as alcohol that have potential positives with no negatives, it should be the people's choice.

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 5 years ago from Delhi

      anything that takes away the power of senses to work properly ie. that deteriorate the ability to diffrenciate between moral or immoral can never be justified as gud for the society...so, for me both shud be verboten!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      I understand completely peanutritious, and if you asked me "what's worse, an addiction to marijuana or an addiction to alcohol" I would definitely say alcohol. The effects are just much worse whilst marijuana makes you feel happy.

      And though I do hope that you'll find another way of de-stressing since prolonged weed usage does have obvious detrimental effects, I also hope that the casual small quantities you are using will never give you harm.

      Thank you,

      Philanthropy

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Interesting article. For me personally, Alcohol is lethal, more often than not, I get an insatiable craving for it and keep on drinking until I pass out. I can't seem to 'drink sensibly' whatever that is! I find that weed relieves my stress and never ever makes me feel aggressive like alcohol does. For me, weed relaxes me, helps me to feel less negative about things. I will smoke it occasionally when i'mparticularly stressed and depressed. If people object to that because it's 'illegal', that's their lookout but I will continue to use it if I feel I need to relax.