Tag Archives: alcohol

Cannabis vs Alcohol – PART II

cannabis v alcohol deathsAs the US gets ever closer to their 2012 Presidential election, medical marijuana coverage seems to be increasing over there. With medical marijuana dispensaries getting closed down in certain states it would appear that the pro-cannabis movement is cranking up the volume.

So while I was rummaging through the Stateside news this week I came across this statistic:

Deaths from Cannabis = 0 (ever)
Deaths from Alcohol = 2,000,000 (every year)

You would think that the more dangerous drug, ie alcohol, would be the illegal product. So with a zero death toll I can see why the pro-cannabis lobbyists are trying so hard to fight for the cannabis corner, and ultimately the decriminalisation of this fabulous herb as well as better medical research into the benefits it can bring.

Cannabis as a treatment has been controversial as there is conflicting research about whether medical cannabis is or is not addictive. Many studies have found that cannabis is not addictive, or as harmful, as other drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, and opiates.

There has been a few medical studies peformed over the last few years to ascertain whether the herb has a solid medical application, and three of the most compelling studies I’ve found are below:

1) A 2009 study found that injections of THC, the primary active chemical in cannabis, helped eliminate dependence on opiates such as morphine and heroin in test animals.

2) A survey on addiction treatment and relapse rates amongst substance users found that respondents used cannabis to curb their alcohol cravings, and as an alternative to previous use of prescription drugs, and even as a substitute for more potent drugs such as cocaine.

3) Another study published in the Harm Reduction Journal over in the US found that medical cannabis users were much less likely to use more potent drugs, and even reported less tobacco use than non-cannabis users.

To me, it couldn’t be clearer that more effective research is needed; not just in the US, but on a global scale. Since withdrawal from alcohol and serious drug use often prompts the same symptoms as other medical conditions that cannabis is used to treat (anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and sleeplessness), it seems logical that responsible use of cannabis could also help with addiction recovery.

Just to round off this post, I’ve pasted below a beautiful illustration depicting several cannabis vs alcohol statistics.

alcohol Vs cannabis chart

Makes you wonder why cannabis is so vilified, doesn’t it?

…I’m also thinking of moving to Oregon, where apparently you are allowed to legally possess 24 ounces of the green gold, according to the chart above!

Cannabis vs Alcohol

As you’ve probably already gathered, I am an avid follower of cannabis and have been for a number of years now. When I was a lot younger and I embarked on my first few smokes with some friends I did do a bit of research into the effects this drug has on me.

When I say research, I mean actually asking people, or trying to find information on it in the local library. This was in the days before Tim Berners-Lee invented something called the Internet (yes, I am actually that old!). Anyway…that was all back in the 80s when I was a kid and cords and dodgy beards were in, and the closest thing to the Internet was the Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum.

Now all this research is online and is readily accessible at a click of the mouse button. Fantastic! And there is some compelling research out there surrounding cannabis. The evidence I’ve found all seems to point to the fact that, compared to a lot of other banned drugs, cannabis is a relatively innocuous drug that has more benefits associated with it than dangers.

There’s a whole heap of medical research, which a quick search of Google will show. Could it help Alzheimer sufferers? This research seems to think so. Does smoking pot impair your ability to drive? This article doesn’t think so.

But all this good stuff aside, what really bugs me is the Cannabis vs Alcohol debate. One substance is a class B controlled substance in the UK and most of the world, whereas the other drug is legal, cheap and readily available pretty much everywhere. However, the illegal drug has had zero fatalities due to overdose, while the other one causes 1000s of alcohol-related deaths every year. Check these articles out for more info, it makes for very interesting reading, and this one.

My research has led me to believe that cannabis is far less harmful than Alcohol, so illegal or not I shall continue to indulge in my pot taking pastime. I’m not hurting anyone apart from myself, I’ve got a great family, I’m more than capable of holding down a good job, and I’ve got a great group of friends. So although I respect the law of the land in general, I’m afraid they have got it very wrong with this…or should we be looking at the politicians for blame?