- Politics and Social Issues
Legalize Marijuana Or Illegalize Alcohol! The Government Is Hypocritical
Marijuana Vs. Alcohol
"Ten states have passed “medical marijuana” laws. Now an even more embarrassing issue has arisen that makes governments look stupid — rules and laws are badly inconsistent when it comes to penalties for marijuana compared to alcohol, even though alcohol is known to be less safe."
Staff under Progress Report, . "Medical Fact: Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol-The Progress Report." The Progress Report. The Progress Report, 7 May 2005. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://www.progress.org/2005/05/07/medical-fact-marijuana-is-safer-than-alcohol/>.
Our Government Is Being Hypocritical
I want to give a new perspective to the controversial topic of legalizing marijuana. Let me first make clear I do not use marijuana so I give an outsiders view to the subject. This makes me a good candidate for a fair unbiased opinion. I am neither for nor against legalizing marijuana usage that is not what this article is about. The point of this article is to explain how hypocritical our government is towards marijuana and alcohol. In this article I am going to compare the multiple similarities between pot and alcohol (one being legal, one illegal) so that my readers may agree with me and my opinion towards the issue. Please note, be sure to read ALL the information to see all viewpoints. I have information from people wanting to legalize marijuana, as well as people who are against marijuana, and facts and statistics discouraging alcohol. At the end of this article it is my hope that readers believe that the government should either legalize marijuana or illegalize alcohol.
A Group Designed to Promote Marijuana is Safer Than Alcohol
Not only do some people feel marijuana isn't more harmful than alcohol, some people believe alcohol is MORE harmful than marijuana. I wanted to include a group who is dedicated to promoting the idea that marijuana is "safer" than alcohol. The name of the group is SAFER which stands for Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation. It was founded in Colorado in January 2005, in response to a string of alcohol-related deaths that occurred on college campuses around the state. Here is some basic information about the group taken from their website.
- What is SAFER's mission? SAFER’s mission is to educate the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to both the user and to society.The SAFER Voter Education Fund's mission is to advocate for laws and policies that reflect that fact.
- The impetus behind the establishment of SAFER was an analysis of surveys that found only 30 percent of voters believe that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. With 2 out of 3 Americans thinking marijuana is at least as harmful as alcohol, it’s no wonder support for reform is still lacking. Yet, of the 30 percent of voters who believe marijuana is safer, 3 out of 4 believe it should be made legal and treated similarly to alcohol. In other words, it’s safe to say that if more Americans are made aware of the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, there will inherently be far more public support for reform.
- Thus, SAFER’s goal is to spread this fact to as many people as possible as many times as possible, providing ample time for it to seep in and become a more commonly accepted idea.
To learn more about SAFER visit their website at http://archive.saferchoice.org/
The Logo for the Group SAFER
Many people would be in favor of legalizing marijuana. However, here are two articles listing reasons why illegalizing both marijuana and alcohol may be a better choice.
Myths of Marijuana
Many people feel marijuana is harmless, such as the "SAFER" group. This group is not necessarily promoting that marijuana use is positive, but rather that if kids are going to use drugs, marijuana is a less harmful drug then alcohol. But this is not an article to legalize marijuana. Again, I am neutral, so I want to include viewpoints of an article discussing excuses many marijuana users proclaim in trying to justify their marijuana use, and how these excuses are false, and why marijuana can be dangerous.
Myths About Marijuana
1. Alcohol can make a person aggressive, Marijuana just relaxes a person.
It is true, marijuana can produce some calming effects. But it can also cause paranoia. Many people have stated before that they have had a "bad trip." This is often described as a state of panic, fear, paranoia and anxiety. A person feels out of control of themselves and their surroundings. This is clearly the opposite of a calm, relaxing, pleasurable mindset. Some marijuana users claim that a "bad trip" is rare, and that once your body "builds a tolerance" one will not likely receive more "bad trips," with future use of the drug. So in conclusion, without prolonged use to "build up a tolerance," recreational and rare usage of the marijuana drug has a 50% chance of a pleasant reaction, and a 50% chance of an unpleasant reaction. Prolonged use of marijuana can lead to addiction and withdrawal. Addiction can lead to loss of loved ones and future goals. If addicted, one's main priority is to obtain marijuana, and this leads to anxiety in several ways. There is anxiety one will get caught, due to the drug being illegal, there is anxiety of withdrawal, guilt of drug use, and there is anxiety in the cravings, that one may have to go without. Losing loved ones and future goals due to one's drug use will make an individual depressed, lonely, guilty, and have a reduced self esteem. This will more likely push an individual further into continued drug use.
2. Marijuana is an Aphrodisiac
Marijuana does not, in itself, increase sexual arousal. In some men and women, it actually decreases sexual arousal. Prolonged marijuana use often leads to sterile sperm in men, this can lead to future problems with conception, and is why marijuana is associated with infertility.
3. Marijuana is a Safer Drug Than Alcohol or Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco are both highly addictive drugs that are currently legal for adults. They are both associated with life threatening health effects with long term use.The fact that alcohol and tobacco are harmful does not in any way reduce the harms of marijuana smoking. Smoke inhalation of any sort is harmful to the lungs and increases the risk of lung cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system. Smoking marijuana is often considered worse than smoking tobacco because unfiltered smoke is exceptionally more harmful, and this is often the method of choice for marijuana users. Also, some doctors claim a glass of wine a day can be healthy. A glass of wine a day is very unlikely to cause stomach ulcers and liver damage. However, just like daily cigarette smokers, a joint a day could cause irreversible damage to the lungs or throat. In this sense, marijuana could cause more damage than alcohol.
4. Smoking Marijuana is Healthy Because it’s a Plant, Not a Drug
There are many poisonous and hallucinogenic plants, which are unhealthy for human consumption. Several drugs as well as weed, heroin, cocaine, magic mushrooms and alcoholic beverages come from plants. Poison Oak is also a plant, but you don't see anyone smoking or consuming it.
Hartney, Elizabeth . "Five Myths About Marijuana." About.com Health Addictions. About.com, 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://addictions.about.com/od/legalissues/tp/Five-Myths-About-Marijuana.htm>.
Some Facts Describing How Alcohol Can Be Harmful
- According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug use and Health, 23.5 million people 12 years of age and older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009. Of these individuals, only 2.6 million – 11.2 percent – only received treatment at a specialty facility.
- Increasing drug and alcohol abuse is a dangerous trend in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 2.1 million hospital Emergency Department visits in 2009 were the result of drug abuse.
- Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are among the most common, devastating, and costly problems in the United States. In fact, recent studies have shown that approximately 53 percent of adults in the United States have reported that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem.
- U.S. alcohol statistics reveal that approximately 50,000 cases of alcohol overdose are reported each year.
- In 2009, an estimated 30.2 million people 12 or older reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year.
- The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year.
- 320 000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group.
- Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden; it is the leading risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe.
- Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.
A Chart Showing Alcohol is the Third Leading Cause of Death in THE WORLD in 2009
A Popular OPINION by Multiple Individuals In Favor of Legalizing Marijuana
The above chart is a common belief of many individuals. There is some truth to it. Below I have created a chart with the true FACTS.
Similarities and Differences Between Alcohol and Marijuana
Chance of overdose
Rare chance of overdose
Both lower an individual's responsetime
More likely to cause aggression
In a larger dosage can become a hallucinogen
Both are depressants
Cossumed by drinking
Is either smoked or digested in food
Both slow down the messages between the brain and the body
Can cause fatal alcohol poisoning
THC is the active chemical ingredient
Both slow down the activity of the central nervous system
To create alcohol fermented drinks are distilled (human made process)
Grows naturally and needs no human participation to create the drug in which a person uses to get intoxicated
Both can act as a relaxant
Can cause liver damage
Can cause respiratory illness and damage the reproductive system
Both impair coordination
Alcohol often causes nausea
Pot is an anti-emetic
Users of either substance can lose track of their thoughts/both substances affect the memory
Leaves the bloodstream in a matter of hours depending on the amount of consumption
Can take up to a month to leave the body
Regular use of either substance often builds a tolerance, requiring larger amounts to receive the same effect
Takes on average 90 minutes before the effects of one serving of alcohol wears off
On average one joint can affect the body for a period of two to four hours
Those who are dependent on either marijuana or alcohol can display physical withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, sleep disturbances, nervousness, irritability and anxiety, and in more severe cases, chills
Both substances dehydrate your body
Both substances can cause cancer
Both affect an individual's ability to learn
Both can cause short and long term damage
Both can be addictive
What Does This Chart Mean?
These are the facts of marijuana and alcohol. This chart shows that there are many similarities between the two substances. What this chart was also meant to show is that when the differences are listed between alcohol and marijuana, nothing about marijuana is seemingly worse than alcohol. Many argue alcohol is worse than marijuana. That is debatable especially based on the facts. But the key point of this chart was to show there are no clear, distinguishing, reasonable answers why marijuana is considered worse than alcohol by our government. Nor are there any answers by the facts in this chart why alcohol should be legal and marijuana illegal.
What Is the Reason Why Our Government Legalizes Alcohol But Refuses To Legalize Marijuana?
The government says it's because marijuana is dangerous and harmful. But I think that may not be the case. Could it be...
Tax and Regulation?
Alcohol can be easily taxed and the selling regulated so that the government ensures profit.
Marijuana would be difficult to tax and the selling would be difficult to regulate in order for the government to ensure profit.
Selling alcohol earns the government an immense income.
Crime from keeping marijuana illegal brings the government an immense amount of money.
Readers what is your opinion? Legalize or Illegalize?
Should alcohol be made illegal or should pot be made legal?
I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed my article. I love feedback on my articles, but I am sorry to say I have had to omit the comment capsule due to some readers not handling the content maturely. Rather than stating diverse, intellectual, varying, opinions on the subject, I have actually had readers picking fights with me over the subject material, and accusing me of using marijuana. Unfortunately, this is a highly controversial topic, and debates become heated. However, this is not "Twitter" or "Facebook," and I won't tolerate any drama on my article pages. Feel free to contact me through fan-mail with your opinions, whether you are for or against legalization of marijuana, or for or against the continued legalization of alcohol. But please, keep your opinions serious and civil. I will ignore messages that are hateful or silly. Thank you,
© 2013 Amber