Marijuana vs. Alcohol: As Legalization Looms War Begins

Marijuana vs. Alcohol: As Legalization Looms War Begins


Legalization of marijuana is becoming a reality throughout America. States like Washington and Colorado have already legalized marijuana. So far there have been few reports of problems like increased crime or addiction. Opponents to marijuana legalization come from all industries and backgrounds. From the treatment industry for professionals who work with recovering addicts and alcoholics, marijuana legalization poses a threat. Though whether or not marijuana is a “gateway drug” is still debated, many feel that marijuana can lead to experimentation with other more harmful drugs. Multiple studies have shown that it is alcohol which inspires more recreational drug use than marijuana. No opponent to marijuana is greater than alcohol.

Massachusetts is currently pushing legalization. Companies funding the most oppositional advertisements are alcohol companies. Alcohol companies want you to believe that the legalization will result in dispensaries on every corner, pot being smoked in the street, and your average neighborhood kid turning into a glorified stoner. Alcohol companies are not the only ones who feel this way. Marijuana legalization does have some threats, but not all of them are accurate.


Which is more harmful?


Statistics reveal that recreational alcohol use is far more threatening than recreational use of marijuana. First of all, more people die from alcohol use as opposed to marijuana use. Second, alcohol can cause overdose. It is possible to die from too much alcohol. So far, no one had died from marijuana overdose.


Isn’t Marijuana Addicting?


The addictive property of marijuana is also widely debated. For the fifth edition, The DSM, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, listed “marijuana use disorder” under the general category of substance use disorders. Alcoholism is a renown mental illness. Though problematic marijuana use has for a long time fallen under scrutiny, due to stigmatized science, marijuana dependency has not been taken seriously. Marijuana can build a tolerance and create a chemical dependency. Regular marijuana users experience symptoms of withdrawal when they quit cold turkey, including depression, anxiety, agitation, loss of appetite, difficulty focusing and disturbed sleep patterns.


Does The Substance Matter?


Alcoholism and chemical dependency are very real problems. Alcoholism has many negative and fatal physical as well as mental side effects. Though the effects of marijuana use disorder are significantly muted in comparison, the brain and body are still negatively impacted. In the end, reliance upon an external substance in order to function, avoid feeling, or feel something, is problematic.


If you or a loved one are in need of treatment for chemical dependency on substances like marijuana or alcohol, call Refuge Recovery today. Providing a spiritual path to scientifically based treatment, Refuge incorporates Buddhist based principles to evidence based programs. For more information, call or text 323-207-0276.

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