BY ELI BECKEN
Cannabis and alcohol are two of the most popular recreational substances in the world. Both are used for relaxation, stress relief, and socializing. However, when it comes to health and safety, cannabis is arguably a better choice than alcohol.
One of the most significant differences between cannabis and alcohol is their effect on health. Alcohol is a known carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. It also damages the liver, and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis, a potentially fatal condition. Alcohol can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
In contrast, cannabis is not known to cause cancer or damage vital organs like the liver. Although it does have some negative health effects, such as respiratory problems, these are generally less severe than the health risks associated with alcohol.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 9% of cannabis users become addicted, compared to 15% of alcohol users.
Additionally, alcohol addiction can have severe physical and mental health consequences, including liver damage, depression, and anxiety. Cannabis addiction, on the other hand, is generally less severe and does not have the same physical withdrawal symptoms as alcohol addiction.
Alcohol is often associated with aggression and violence. It can impair judgment and cause people to act in ways they would not be when sober. Cannabis is generally associated with relaxation and a sense of well-being. While it can impair coordination and cognitive function, it does not naturally lead to aggression or violence.
Moreover, alcohol can significantly contribute to drunk driving accidents, domestic violence, and other forms of harm. Cannabis, on the other hand, has not been found to have a significant impact on violent crime rates.
Another significant difference between cannabis and alcohol is the risk of overdose. Alcohol overdoses can be life-threatening and are responsible for around 88,000 deaths in the United States annually each year. The only recorded death from cannabis on record is from someone inhaling byproduct during manufacturing.
Finally, it’s worth considering the cost of these two substances. Alcohol is taxed heavily in most countries, and the cost of alcohol-related healthcare and law enforcement is high. Cannabis legalization and taxation can bring significant revenue to governments while reducing the costs associated with enforcing prohibition.
While both cannabis and alcohol have their risks and benefits, it’s clear that cannabis is a safer and healthier choice than alcohol. Cannabis has fewer adverse health effects, is less addictive, and does not contribute to violence or overdose deaths. Moreover, the legalization and taxation of cannabis can benefit society significantly while reducing the harm associated with alcohol consumption. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite un-quotable sayings… give five guys alcohol and they will start a fight. Give five guys cannabis, and they will start a band.