Cannabis vs Alcohol

So far the legalized cannabis industry is in its infant stage, there is not much data on overdoses available, but in Colorado alone there were a listed 14 overdoses of marijuana listed for 2017, none of which resulted in death.

While child exposure to marijuana is still a very real problem in those states that have legalized it, alcohol related deaths average around 88,000 per year in the U.S. for adults. Tobacco has a death toll related to it at around 440,000 per year.

Both alcohol and tobacco are still legal in every state in the the U.S., with Hawaii introducing a bill that will effectively ban tobacco smoking by 2024. Out of the seven states where Cannabis has been made legal, pedestrian walking deaths have increased slightly, while this has not been linked directly to cannabis, it is worth mentioning. The increase for all seven states combined is 5.8% which is an appreciable amount, up from 29, in 2017, there were 35, in 2018.

Out of all the states where the increases were noticed Oregon ranked 14th with Washington D.C. topping the list at a massive 133% increase. With Marijuana affecting the cardiovascular system and increasing blood pressure, it cannot be overdosed to death like alcohol can be.

Alcohol which can kill in just five minutes after too much is metabolized, can cause difficulty in breathing, decreased heart rate, body temperature fluctuation, and gag reflex, can can lead to coma and death.

Tobacco says it right on the packaging, may cause cancer, it should say, “will cause cancer,” low birth weight in babies has been attributed born to mothers who smoke, both alcohol and tobacco are considered much more addictive than marijuana.

Marijuana can impair your judgement, balance, coordination. There is a risk of harming yourself or others especially if driving impaired on both alcohol and marijuana, also because inhibitions are lowered unprotected sex is more likely when someone is under the influence of marijuana, and alcohol.

The long term effects of drinking alcohol are known, as well as smoking, but not much is known about the long term exposures to cannabis. Alcohol shows long term usage causes liver disease, fibrosis of the liver, and liver cancer.

Unlike alcohol, the long term effects of marijuana use are not yet well defined, but some some studies have shown possible reproduction issues with lowered sperm counts in men, worsening psychiatric issues for people who already were likely to have them, and that they were brought on at an earlier age by the usage of marijuana.

Marijuana smoking has been linked to bronchitis, and inflammation of the airways. There are cancelling out studies on whether marijuana smoking has a link to lung cancer, with one long term study saying it does, and another saying that it has actually been shown to reduce tumor size in those with cancer already and that it is likely to be a relief for cancer.

With the smoke differing in compounds that that of tobacco, not as many known carcinogens have been found to exist in the marijuana smoke.  There is concrete evidence that while a person’s brain is still developing, such as that of a child or teen, they should refrain from smoking marijuana, as it is important for the brain in it’s framework to be as unimpeded by outside interference as possible.

Smoking marijuana as a teen interferes with the connections being made in the brain as it matures, such as accumulating memories, data, and good experiences. While there are no known benefits to drinking alcohol, marijuana has shown to contain many beneficial compounds.

Compounds in marijuana have shown promise in fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, glaucoma, PTSD, and eating disorders. With large scale marijuana usage going on, it will not be long before more studies are out to establish more data supporting these theories. 

Oregon showed a 24% drop in alcohol sales the first year cannabis was legalized across the state. The real reason many people think marijuana was initially made illegal and placed as a Schedule I Narcotic by the FDA was that the lobbyist from the alcohol industry knew cannabis was as unhealthy for their business as their product is for the American consumer.

The American Medical Association has requested Marijuana be studied for its health benefits every year since 1974, with a denial each and every time. Big Pharmaceutical had been opposed to the legalization of marijuana from inception, with marijuana being used to treat pain, and much less a risk for serious addiction “Big Pharma” stands to lose billions across the board.

Senator Gillibrand (D) NY  called out big pharma in 2018, telling them that their opposition to people lessening their pain while not wanting to risk addiction to opioids. She also said she thought big pharma was working behind the scenes to keep marijuana illegal because they would lose money, due to their production of opioids and Fentanyl. A big pharma company Insys Inc., who makes synthetic THC, and opioids, spent a half a million dollars to keep marijuana illegal in Arizona in 2016.  

Written by Many veterans are reporting to the Veterans Administration during their medical care, that marijuana is a viable treatment for their PTSD, so much so that the VA is doing a study to determine if it is. According to the Journal of Health and Economics marijuana is far less a danger than opiods to America, and opioids are legal with a prescription in all 50 states. Gillibrand has stated that she wants marijuana removed from the scheduled narcotics list and made legal across the U.S. 

Written by Shaemus

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