Tag Archives: Alcohol

Marijuana is worse than alcohol

Regulation of alcohol does not keep alcohol out of the hands of children and teens. So when pro-pot people came up the idea “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol,” they should have known that part of the plan would not be successful either.  Just ask any teacher in Colorado. As propagandists push marijuana to achieve equality with alcohol in American life, here’s a look at how they compare:

1) According to a report in 2015, 30 % of marijuana users in the United States qualify as having Cannabis Use Disorder, vs. 10-20% of those of drinkers who are alcoholics. 

2) A study from the University California, Davis found that in terms of downward social class mobility, financial difficulties, antisocial behaviors in the workplace and relationship conflict, cannabis dependence was worse than alcohol dependence. 

3) With THC (most psychoactive part of pot) as high as it is today, there is no equivalent to dope that is like beer or wine. Since competition between growers has created the higher THC,  consumers won’t go back to the weak, old-fashioned pot that was in existence before the “medical marijuana” scam was introduced in the mid-90s. Average THC in Colorado is 20% vs. 1-3% in ’70s.

4) Frequent users of marijuana are more likely to have a-motivational syndrome, compared to frequent drinkers.

5) Students who are heavy weed users are much more likely to drop out of school than students who drink heavily.  After all, weed is nicknamed “dope” for a reason.  According to a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, frequent cannabis users are 60% more likely to drop out of high school than non-users.

6)  Teens who use marijuana are 3x more likely to overdose on other drugs such as heroin; teens who use alcohol are 2x more at risk for overdose with other drugs.  While marijuana may not be a “gateway” for every young person who does pot, the risk of leapfrogging to other drugs is greater for those who use marijuana.

7) Both are readily available to children and teens. Pot is more available in marijuana states, as the parents may have it at home.

8) Both are dangerous for driving, and both have led to traffic fatalities, particularly when the drivers are age 25 and under.   Looking at the absolute evidence takes away any need for studies to show that driving stoned is dangerous.

9) Marijuana stays in system longer, up to a month and even more for chronic users, while alcohol goes out of the system in 24 hours.  Some marijuana users experience flashbacks which can be very dangerous while driving or when they come on unexpectedly.

10) There are high-functioning alcoholics and there are regular marijuana users who hold jobs and function reasonably well.  The latter is less frequent, and those who manage well tend to give an erroneous impression to others who become addicted quickly and show a greater impairment from using pot.

11) Both marijuana and alcohol are depressants. 

12) Marijuana causes paranoia, anxiety and mental health problems at much higher rates than alcohol.

13) Marijuana advocates claim it is “harmless” and “not addictive,” both false claims.  They also claim to drive better while stoned.  Drinkers , on average, are not so delusional in claiming that alcohol is harmless and non-addictive.  Individual problem drinkers may deny that they have a problem, while pot activists deny marijuana is a problem.

14) Binge drinking in very, very heavy doses can lead to death. While marijuana doesn’t go into the brain stem, in heavy doses it can lead to psychosis.  Pot has been know to cause death for those who have a psychotic reaction to marijuana, or heart arrhythmia or cannabis hyperemesis syndrome.

15) You can’t smoke or vape alcohol, so it doesn’t carry the sames risks to your lungs that marijuana does. 

16) Marijuana doesn’t cause a hangover.  Skipping the headache is not a good reason to do pot.  Just don’t drink or drink less.  😉

For another view of this issue, read When a Lie Travels: Comparing Alcohol to Marijuana.  Read another article we wrote on marijuana vs. alcohol.

No one is forced or compelled to drink, another falsehood promoted by the marijuana lobby.  Many adults choose not to drink or do any drugs.   More power to them.

Former Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said legalization “wasn’t worth it.”  Colorado’s former governor John Hickenlooper said that legalization was “reckless.”  In the state of Washington the number of crashes involving marijuana-impaired drivers doubled after legalization.

About 10-14% of the US uses marijuana, compared to up to 60% of adults who use alcohol.  Evidence shows that marijuana users drink more alcohol, too.

Lies and propaganda designed to get full marijuana legalization

These claims aren’t based on fact, but they’re propaganda points commonly used to get public support for legalization.

  • Marijuana needs to be rescheduled in order to explore its medical properties. (The National Academy of Medicine Report of 2017 considered at 10,000 scientific abstracts to reach 100 conclusions.  There’s no shortage of research studies on marijuana.)
  • Marijuana is safer than alcohol. (The risks of marijuana use are somewhat different from those of alcohol. Seth Leibsohn’s article, When a Lie Travels, demonstrates why it’s inappropriate to compare these two substances.  Both are dangerous, but marijuana is far more toxic to the brain than alcohol. Keeping marijuana illegal keeps usage down which is a form of “harm reduction.”)

Strangely, pot advocates often talk about the dangers of alcohol as a reason to legalize marijuana.

  • Millions of people are in jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana. (The number of people in federal and state prisons for minor marijuana infractions is less than 1%. There is truth to the claim that blacks and Hispanics are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system. True before and after legalization, this issue cannot be resolved by legalization and it isn’t limited to drug policy.)

Not good substitute for opioids

  • Legalizing marijuana frees police to concentrate on more serious crimes. (FBI data from the first four states to legalize, Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, shows that crime increases significantly after legalization. Those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. In 2018, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults—an increase of 37 percent for murders and 25 percent for aggravated assaults, far greater than the national increase.
  • Regulation works. (Despite the fact that states have costly regulatory bodies, much dispensary marijuana is tainted with mold, fungus and pesticides.  Some of the vaping illnesses and deaths can be traced to legal, regulated marijuana stores. In other words, it’s not only bootleg marijuana vapes that are causing deaths.)

Not a tax windfall

  • Legalized marijuana brings billions of tax dollars into the states that have legalized. (In all the states that have legalized, marijuana tax money represents less than 1% of state revenue.  We don’t have detailed analysis of the social costs: crashes, traffic deaths, butane hash oil explosions, mental health and emergency room costs related to cannabis.)  States that have legalized faced a huge increase in homelessness.
  • People do not drive better under the influence of marijuana, as pot advocates claim. (Traffic deaths rose in the first states to legalize marijuana. Although data is preliminary, insurance company statistics suggest this outcome, too.  Mixing marijuana and alcohol, and multi-drug impairment is a rising problem that coincides with marijuana legalization. Drugged driving surpassed drunk driving as a cause of traffic deaths a few years ago. Marijuana is the number one drug associated with drugged driving.)
  • Marijuana isn’t addictive. (Roughly 30% of regular marijuana users in the US are classified as having a cannabis use disorder, versus 10-20% of alcohol users.  A study from UC Davis found that adults dependent on cannabis had more financial and social problems than those dependent on alcohol. Addiction studies show that 9% of adult users and 17% of those who begin pot use as adolescents become addicted. These statistics come from the last century and don’t account for today’s high potency cannabis.)

The most devious lie

  • Marijuana never killed anyone.  The most pernicious lie is that marijuana never killed anyone, which advocates repeat because marijuana doesn’t cause overdose deaths by crossing the blood-brain barrier.  (In addition to those killed by marijuana-impaired drivers, we have a long list of those whose marijuana use caused mental illness and led to other drugs or suicide.  Young people have also died from cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, heart arrhythmia and from vaping marijuana. Not to mention when people do foolish and stupid things when under the influence, causing accidental death.)

When asked in polls, about 65% of the people claim to favor legalization, but these polls don’t ask about decriminalization.   When polls ask about decriminalization, the answers change.

The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization at the forefront of drug policy reform, pushes for the legalization of all drugs.

Alcohol and Marijuana together Magnifies Driving Difficulties

Mixing Alcohol and Marijuana Amplifies THC in the System

Three news stories exemplify the tragic results of mixing alcohol and marijuana before getting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  Most recently, a suspected-DUI driver crashed into a California Highway patrolman in a parked vehicle on Christmas Eve.  Andrew Camilleri, 33, died instantly.  He left behind a wife and three children. Continue reading Alcohol and Marijuana together Magnifies Driving Difficulties

Time to get mad, change attitudes about stoned driving, part 2

Read Part I: Time to get mad about stoned driving.  The next step is to change attitudes about stoned driving.

Marijuana Policy Project promoted marijuana as an alternative to alcohol in the 2012 campaign to legalize pot in Colorado.  However, the recent Rocky Mountain HIDTA Report revealed the overlap between those who use marijuana and drink before driving.   It’s not a substitution, but an adjunct to alcohol.  The alcohol industry has been selling more since legalization. Continue reading Time to get mad, change attitudes about stoned driving, part 2