Many times, I've been to parties where beer and liquor is everywhere. Once everyone is good and hammered, someone is bound to start up a smoke circle.
What I've noticed is that only a handful of people at any party will actually smoke marijuana while the rest seem to think they're doing themselves a favor by staying inside, continuing to drink an excess amount of alcohol.
I mean, they won't even take a single hit, but they'll drink 20 beers? I simply don't understand the reasoning behind such an action. I feel I would be a hypocrite if I was taking shots and turned down the joint that was being passed around.
I'd like to explore some of the possibilities of why people will drink themselves into a stupor, but not touch marijuana.
- Legality- Anything slapped with a big Schedule 1 label is going to get negative attention. Keep in mind that hard drugs like heroin and cocaine are also Schedule 1 drugs. If you never inform yourself about drugs, other than what you learn in school, you're going to assume that marijuana is just as bad as the rest of them. Just because something is illegal doesn't mean it's wrong. In today's world, right and wrong differ far too much from person to person to be an acceptable source of reason.
- Advertising- The fact that marijuana is illegal puts it in the dark corner with the rest of the "drugs," while alcohol, taking advantage of it's legality, is able to pull you in with vigorous advertising about these people living it up with their Captain Morgan, or escaping reality on a serene beach with a bucket full of Corona. It instills in your mind that alcohol is a normal, socially accepted thing, while the only advertising marijuana gets is those hilarious "Above the Influence" commercials, that do nothing but condition the individual that it's unacceptable and creates problems in your life. I also would like to point out the hypocrisy in one of their commercials where it states, "When you smoke marijuana, you lose the ability to make your own choices." Clearly the point of the commercial is to keep you from smoking marijuana, so are they not making the choices for you themselves? The main difference in these ads is that it's basically telling you alcohol is an enjoyable thing, while marijuana is just another one of those "drugs."
- Smoking- I believe that, all too often, people relate the smoking of marijuana to the disgusting habit of smoking tobacco. People have to understand that, while both marijuana and tobacco smoke contain many different chemicals, the chemicals each contains are far different. This is an area where marijuana being illegal is actually a benefit to your physical health. Tobacco products are soaked in various chemicals, such as arsenic (rat poison), for the sole purpose of keeping your cigar or cigarette burning. Marijuana on the other hand, is left unadulterated, assuming you're responsible and go through a dealer who you can trust. The only process marijuana should go through before it's packaged and ready to sell is hanging it to dry. Another important thing to note is that marijuana and tobacco have completely opposite effects on your airways. Tobacco causes the bronchial airway to contract, eventually leading to emphysema, while marijuana actually dilates it. The fact is, though both marijuana and tobacco are consumed by smoking, they are completely different substances. Also, marijuana does not necessarily have to be smoked. It can be cooked into food, made into a tea, or vaporized. The final thing I'd like to make a point of is that smoking anything is often related to bad hygiene. Think for a moment about the state of your hygiene after vomiting all morning vs having breath that smells like marijuana for a few hours.
- Ignorance- There's many people out there that simply don't want to find out for themselves what is true and what is false. They find life a lot more simple and easy just by going with the flow and saying "NO." I prefer researching various pro and con sources and forming my own opinion on a subject than just believing everything I'm told, as I've often found that many so-called "facts" are actually just opinions, dogma, or propaganda. Also, many people seem ignorant to the fact that alcohol is just another drug. It's actually classified as a hard drug just like PCP, cocaine, and heroin, while marijuana is classified, along with mushrooms and LSD, as a soft drug. Now, let's actually compare marijuana and alcohol using tolerance, dosage, effects, and health, side by side in a contest to see which should be the more logical choice of drug.
Marijuana's tolerance should be no mystery to anyone who's smoked enough-- the less often you smoke, the more intense the effects, and vice-versa.
The first time I smoked, I had constant fits of laughter for no apparent reason and seemed to have no control over my facial expressions. Today it's not nearly as intense. All of the effects are still there, I've just become more accustomed to to them and therefore can function easier while stoned than I could before.Alcohol-
The tolerance to alcohol builds up over time and requires you to drink more to get the same effects. At one point in my life, I began building a tolerance to alcohol (it builds up fast when you drink from a 1.75 liter bottle of hard liquor almost everyday).
I started at about five shots max for a whole night. Eventually it took five shots just to feel anything at all, and I started pushing close to 20 shots in a night.
Also, when I started out, I would feel very active and empathetic. Within a few months, I found myself passing out soon after I had started drinking and feeling very depressed instead of incredibly cheerful.Winner: Marijuana Dosage
The dosage for marijuana depends on the potency of it, but in truth there is no dosage because you can't overdose! Spend all day smoking bowl after bowl of white widow if you want, because nothing is going to happen to you, though you will eventually reach a peak in "highness."
In complete contrast to marijuana, you can overdose on alcohol and you shouldn't need any persuading to know it happens all the time to people.
Your body is unique from anyone else's and alcohol lets you know it. You can be the biggest person out there, but if you're just someone who's sensitive to alcohol, you could find yourself a lot more drunk than you wanted to be in two or three beers, while the short, skinny guy next to you is downing his seventh.
I know marijuana can be the same way, but marijuana won't kill you if you overdo it. It's all a matter of having the will power to know that you're just stoned.Winner: MarijuanaEffects
The general effects of marijuana on the body can be: red eyes, cotton mouth, tingly sensations, hunger (the munchies), and increased heart rate (this subsides when you're sober again).
The mental effects can include: laughter, a sense of well-being, paranoia, and short-term memory loss (again, this subsides when you're sober). If you're in a comfortable setting around people you know and assuming you can handle psychoactive substances, there is no reason why you shouldn't have a pleasant experience.
As with any psychoactive, if you feel anxious or uncomfortable during the experience, you just need to tell yourself that you're high and you'll be fine in an hour or two. Doing this with marijuana should be the most reassuring because you know you're definitely not going to die.Alcohol-
The effects of alcohol on the body include: an increased tolerance to pain, drowsiness, nystagmus, nausea, and at extremely high doses, death.
Mental effects include: being really talkative, lowered inhibitions (hence the nickname "liquid courage"), being more emotionally sensitive, and the dreaded blackouts. Another thing I might add is the need to frequently urinate.
I found it inconvenient and unpleasant at times that I had to run to the bathroom every ten minutes or so. However, being a more introverted person, I enjoyed alcohol's ability to allow me to say what was on my mind.
Blackouts are also something I'd like to elaborate on, because I believe when you hear about the drunk driver that crashed into oncoming traffic, they had probably blacked out. I have blacked out twice and both times I remember absolutely nothing. I will never get those periods of my life back.
Both times I was told I was speaking gibberish and basically doing the opposite of what I'd normally do. The first time I kicked a hole in the wall while I was laying on the kitchen floor, and the second time I somehow broke a computer keyboard.
I had absolutely no control over anything. I was unconscious, but my body still managed to keep doing things, only completely wrong. I could've woken up in jail and not known what the hell I had done.
Marijuana has many myths surrounding its effects on your health. It is said that marijuana causes long term memory impairment, the inability to learn new material, and kills brain cells.
First of all, marijuana does not kill brain cells, period. It only causes memory impairment while you're under it's influence and learning new things while high can be difficult because you might not remember and/or might have difficulty concentrating, though this won't be a problem when you're sober again.
Another thing I was taught in school is that marijuana smoke has a ton more chemicals in it than tobacco smoke. While I'm not sure which has more chemicals, the amount of them doesn't matter in pertaining to which is worse for your health.
It has been debunked by most scientists that inhaling marijuana smoke is worse than tobacco smoke. It's also been suggested that certain chemicals in marijuana smoke coat the lungs and actually protect against harmful carcinogens.
Also, marijuana has never been linked to any kind of cancer, or any deaths.Alcohol-
In moderation, alcohol can benefit your health by taking that edge off of the stress in life and also reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Who really drinks in moderation, though? If you've ever had a hangover, you're not drinking in moderation. A hangover is a perfect example of the negative effect alcohol has on your health.
Maybe you don't mind puking, but understand you're puking up stomach acid, which, after a long period, can begin to eat away at your teeth and gums.
One morning I awoke with yet another killer hangover. After all of the running back and forth to the bathroom and puking was over, I noticed the inside of my mouth was sore. I took this as a hint and decided I should lay off the stuff.
Alcohol can also cause brain and liver damage after a long period of heavy use and has been linked to several types of cancers.
Conclusion: Marijuana easily wins!
Though it can bring about uncomfortably intense sensations in newer and/or sensitive users, there is nothing in this herb that is going to harm you in any way. And if it somehow does, then you shouldn't be dabbling with psychoactives anyway.
Alcohol can definitely be a fun and even spiritual experience, but if you disregard the fact that, in reality, it is a hard drug, it's going to eat you, chew you up and spit you back out. Marijuana, however, will never betray you in the way alcohol can.
I leave you with this: If you're going to "Say NO" to an innocent plant like marijuana, then do yourself a favor and put that goddamn beer down!
Why is marijuana still looked at the worst of the two when marijuana seems to have less effects?