Perhaps you were involved in the discussion. Which is worse? Alcohol or marijuana? The conversation is resurfacing with new research and more laws legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana.
Despite our differing opinions, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug. Alcohol, however, can be consumed by anyone 21 or older.
President Obama stated, in a New Yorker interview, that he didn't believe marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol.
Is marijuana or alcohol more dangerous? We present both sides to the debate so that you can make your own decision.
IN RELATION TO THE CRIME RATE
Alcohol is the substance that causes the most harm when it comes to putting someone at risk of getting hurt or hurting other people.
An analysis of marijuana use and intimate partners violence revealed that marijuana-using couples had lower rates for intimate partner violence during the first nine years of their marriage. Men who used marijuana were less likely to inflict violence on a spouse.
Driving while stoned is safer than driving drunk but is still dangerous.
Drivers involved in car accidents are more likely to be able to detect marijuana than alcohol. A study showed that marijuana had an 83% increase in the likelihood of getting into an accident.
Although 83% may seem high, when alcohol is involved, the chances of getting in an accident with a car are more than 2,200% higher!
The risk of a fatal car accident occurs when both alcohol and drugs are present.
So what's the lesson? Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a bad idea, especially if you are consuming both.
Even if you are only pregnant for a few weeks, alcohol can have long-lasting consequences on your child. The CDC estimates that 3.3 million pregnant women are at high risk of exposing their baby alcohol.
Drinking during pregnancy can increase your chances of having a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). According to the CDC, there is no safe amount of alcohol to be consumed during pregnancy.
However, marijuana is not considered safe. There may be a connection between marijuana use and low birth weight, according to studies. Although marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in pregnancy, there aren't many studies that show the effects of marijuana.
You might be wondering: Is it marijuana or alcohol? Which side do you choose? We can all shift our thinking to agree that both marijuana and alcohol have risks. You should avoid using either alcohol or marijuana if your plan is to drive a car.
MEMORY AND LEARNING
You may forget what happened the night before after a night of heavy drinking. This is sometimes called a "blackout".
Drinking heavily can affect your ability to make new memories. More than 50% of binge drinkers have reported that they experienced blackouts and forget where or what they did while drinking.
Students in college reported that they had done things after a blackout, such as driving drunk or engaging in risky behaviors.
Recent studies on memory have shown that teens who smoke marijuana are more likely to experience problems later in life with learning and memory. Although the studies are not conclusive on how marijuana use can affect memory and learning, they do provide some insight. However, studies have shown that these brain changes can increase the likelihood of developing psychological problems later in life.
RISK OF OVERDOSING
Drinking alcohol is usually not considered to be life-threatening. It can be deadly if you consume too much alcohol. According to the CDC, nearly 88,000 alcohol-related fatalities occur annually. About half of these deaths were caused by binge drinking.
The number of marijuana-related deaths is nearly zero. According to a study, a fatal dose (or more) of TCH, the powerful chemical found in marijuana, could be as high as 15 to 70 grams. A typical joint has about half a gram. This gives you an idea of the amount of marijuana. To overdose on marijuana, you'd need to smoke between 238 to 1,113 joints per day. This is a lot of marijuana.
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