Alcohol vs. Cannabis 2015 (INFOGRAPHIC)
Does popularity and approval determine what is best? Usually not. Case in point: Cannabis is better for you than Alcohol.
Although majority of Americans are reported to be in favor of “marijuana legalization”, when it comes to acceptance and approval rates, alcohol always takes the cake.
In 2013, 86.8 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.7 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.4 percent reported that they drank in the past month. These numbers are staggering compared to the number of Americans who report using cannabis.
Fact: excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2006–2010.
Meaning: Alcohol actually shortened the lives of Americans who died between 2006-2010 by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.
Fact: Cannabis alone has not been proven to cause an overdose death.
Meaning: Studies show that cannabis has a therapeutic index of 40,000:1. This means someone would have to take 40,000 times the normal amount of marijuana in order to die. It is virtually impossible to overdose on cannabis, which sets it apart from most drugs, including alcohol.
So, the burning question is this: If cannabis is so safe and alcohol has proven to be so dangerous, why do more Americans like alcohol?
It could be the fact that cannabis is federally illegal and listed as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, while alcohol remains legal despite the fact that it has been proven to contribute to many societal ills, including domestic violence and auto accidents.
Some of the obvious hypocrisy inherent to marijuana prohibition is highlighted in the following commercial, created by Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest cannabis legalization advocacy group in the states:
On their website, MPP states,
“None of this is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral’ (cannabis use). It is simply something that these responsible adults choose to do. And frequently, it is something they choose to do specifically instead of alcohol. And for good reason! Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, more harmful to the body, more likely to result in injuries, and more likely to lead to interpersonal violence than marijuana.”
Now let’s address addiction.
According to NIAA, approximately 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. The symptoms of alcoholism include a strong need to drink, inability to stop once drinking has begun, physical dependence and tolerance. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications affecting virtually every organ in your body, including your brain. It can also damage your emotional stability, finances, career, and impact your family, friends and the people you work with. Commonly known symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, nausea, fever and even seizures.
Cannabis addiction is much less reported than alcoholism.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that only 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted to it. The symptoms of cannabis dependence are not medically serious. These include cannabis becoming a large part of the person’s life which can lead to missing important activities because they prefer to use cannabis instead and the person continuing use even though they perceive their use as problematic. Long-term cannabis use does pose a risk of irreversible cognitive impairment in children and pre-pubescent adolescents, yet no similar risk has been established for adults. Cannabis use is associated with mental health issues, such as mood and anxiety disorders, and discontinuing cannabis use is difficult for some users. Physical addiction to cannabis has not been proven.
Here is an infographic we created to show you the many reasons cannabis is a much better choice than alcohol:
Embed this infographic on your site or blog
Our hope is that we have helped clarify what most people in America are hesitant to admit: that cannabis is safer, less toxic and less addictive than alcohol. Cannabis is becoming more popular for its therapeutic properties and more states are passing and implementing medical cannabis policies for patients who can potentially benefit from it. It seems to be a matter of time before marijuana is rescheduled by the federal government. Maybe then the approval rate of cannabis will finally supersede that of alcohol and alcoholism, along with alcohol related deaths, will significantly decrease.
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