When it comes to weed vs alcohol, the different treatment to the two substances is pretty obvious. Alcohol is a legal substance even though it has been proven to be a factor in many traffic accidents and domestic violence incidents. Yet, even though there is no evidence linking marijuana to cancer or domestic violence, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Some states in the US have loosened laws on marijuana, but it remains illegal on a federal level. The FBI reports that someone is arrested across the country every 42 seconds for the use, possession, or sale of marijuana.
Here are five reasons why, when it comes to weed and alcohol, smoking marijuana is safer than drinking.
It is possible to overdose and die due to excessive alcohol consumption. The Scientific Research Society listed alcohol as one of the most toxic drugs. Marijuana is one of the least toxic because it would take thousands of a single “use” amount. The number is thousands because there has never been a death due to marijuana overdose.
The CDC reports that hundreds of deaths occur due to alcohol overdoses every single year. It’s possible to drink enough alcohol to get alcohol poisoning, making it a deadly drug to use over time.
2. Weed vs Alcohol: Health-related costs
Research has shown time and time again that alcohol causes many health issues.
Studies from the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal show that health costs due to alcohol-related conditions are eight times more than costs associated with marijuana usage. The expenses amount to $20 per person every year for someone who uses marijuana, while the cost of alcohol-related conditions amounts to $165 per person every year.
Medical marijuana can be an effective alternative to prescription medications for conditions such as arthritis, pain, epilepsy, cancer, and severe nausea. This is especially useful with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
3. Reduce the risk of cancer
4. Weed vs Alcohol: Addiction
Weed and alcohol are also very different in how users can develop dependency. Every year, throughout the world, people seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
Alcohol has potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. A moderate drinker can develop physical dependency, requiring the substance to keep the body from going through painful withdrawal symptoms.
It’s possible to develop a habitual addiction to marijuana in the same way someone becomes addicted to food or shopping. However, cannabis does not cause any symptoms of physical dependency.
5. Higher crime rate
Many people still label marijuana as a gateway drug that leads to hard drug use including cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs. However, when comparing weed vs alcohol, the opposite of this is actually true.
People who drink alcohol are more likely to participate in high-risk activities that can be dangerous and lead to being arrested. Current estimates from the United States Department of Health and Human Services associate 25 to 30 percent of violent crimes with alcohol use, compared to none directly associated with marijuana use.
Communities with many people who drink have higher rates of domestic violence, drunk driving, or disorderly conduct arrests. Alcohol itself doesn’t cause these problems but lowers inhibitions and increases the chances of someone partaking in the illegal activities. More states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes and as a result, crime rates were reduced.
The idea that marijuana is an evil drug is a dated concept that needs to be re-examined by both consumers and government. As people have become more aware of the health benefits of marijuana, perceptions of the substance have started to change. Advocates for both medical and recreational cannabis are now speaking up and pushing for legislation to legalize marijuana so that everyone can access cannabis for whatever their needs may be.