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Even though weed is beginning to get legalised in places across the US and out of it, in many places it's still very illegal. It makes you wonder- how is a plant illegal, but more dangerous substances like alcohol and tobacco are completely fine to consume?
Alcohol culture is massive globally. It's almost impossible to not be immersed in it, unless you live under a rock or in a jungle somewhere. Alcohol is everywhere you look; in ads, in your town, on social media, on TV, at work and so many more. Why is it such a big thing in society, when most of the time alcohol ends in illness and regret? In the USA in 2014, over 30,000 people died from alcohol related illnesses such as cirrhosis and alcohol poisoning, and more than 10,000 from drunk driving accidents. That's an average 3,300,000 people who die globally, annually, because of alcohol. How many more people were ill, and suffered a car crash but didn't die? Hunder of thousands.
At what point do we pause for a moment and think, does this really have to be the norm? Why is everyone's answer to a celebration, or heartbreak, or Friday night drinking? Why is it acceptable to have so many deaths and illnesses and crime just because of alcohol? 40% of inmates in prisons are drunk at the time of their crime. Drinking causes people to lose judgement, and many people become aggressive because of it. This leads to fighting, theft, sexual assault and more. How many families have you heard of that have broken up due to drinking problems, or had relationship issues because of them?
In my opinion, drinking has gotten old, fast.
Weed vs Alcohol
Let's compare some of the facts of drinking versus marijuana use. The video above quickly outlines it in a 30 second advert and ends on the quote:
Unlike alcohol, weed has never killed anyone from an overdose. It isn't dangerous. It doesn't make you aggressive and more prone to crime and violence. On a Friday night, drunk people are often seen out on the town, making a mess out of themselves, vomiting, fighting, and throwing their sloppy drunk selves around kebab shops. Compare this to a Friday night stoners would have. Sitting in someone's house, listening to music, passing a joint around. Laughing, joking, and getting along. They're not bothering anyone; they're not hurting anyone.
Now, remember which one is illegal. To an outside source, that somehow doesn't know a thing about alcohol or weed, alcohol would definitely seem like the one that would be illegal, not marijuana.
There are other factors too as to why alcohol is much worse, and I've listed a few for you to think about.
- Alcohol costs more in the long run. Health-related costs are significantly higher for alcohol users.
- It also costs more in the short term. On a night out, my friends can spend around £50–£100 on a night out, including drinks (lots of drinks), taxis, entrance fees, a new outfit, cigarettes, and more. After spending that much, you get a messy night that you can barely remember and you feel like death the next day.
On the other hand, you can spend £60 on a quarter ounce of weed and it'll last even heavy smokers 4–7 days but can last a month if you're a light smoker. I've had friends that used to buy a quarter a month and they would still have some left after smoking a joint a day. So, spend £60 for several nights of fun weed time, (possibly £80 after dominos expenses) or spend the same for one night of drinking and a banging headache.
- Alcohol use damages the brain. There's a widely spread myth that weed kills brain cells and damages the brains of adolescents. This is not true. An increasing number of studies have begun to prove this entirely false. However, it has long been an established fact that actively drinking, alcohol dependent subjects have smaller brain volumes than normal control subjects who do not drink alcohol.
- Drinking causes ARBD. ARBD stands for alcohol-related brain damage. There are several different forms, including alcohol related dementia, alcohol amnesia syndrome, Wernicke-Korsakoff's syndrome and damage to the frontal lobe. For more information, including symptoms, causes and facts, visit here. For more information on alcohol in general visit Alcohol Concern. If you think you or anyone else is suffering from an alcohol related problem from addiction to illness, please get help.
- Alcohol is linked to cancer. Weed is not... and somehow, alcohol is legal.
Weed is safer, cheaper, and healthier in every way, and most people know this, but the world continues to spin in the same way. If it were up to me, alcohol wouldn't exist and weed would grow instead of grass. That's not realistic, and neither is expecting everyone to quit drinking any time soon. It's so ingrained into society that it just wouldn't work. However, if this changes the mind of just one person then it's been a success. I just wish that one day there'll be ways for stoners to mingle with drinkers, as I'm sure even with all this evidence against drinking, it's not going to go anywhere fast. It would be nice, however, to have a weed smoking area in the club/bar, then everyone's happy!
What can you do now?
- Instead of going to the club next weekend, why not have a night in? On Sunday, you'll actually wake up without a hangover! You can go for brunch, to the beach, shopping, anything you want!
- Stop following society. The point I'm trying to make here is that alcohol is bad, but you don't necessarily have to start smoking weed also. You don't need to drink to be fun, you don't need to drink on every occasion, when something bad happens, etc., etc. In fact, if something bad does happen, I recommend weed instead. Alcohol is a depressant, while weed helps. Don't listen to the government or high ups. You can't trust them. They're the ones that made a plant illegal in the first place. They try to make weed out as evil, but now I hope you know that it's not.
- Try dry January or any other month. Sometimes that's all you need to start you off, then by the month's over, you're in the habit of not drinking. Put the money you would usually spend on alcohol in a jar—see how much you have at the end of the month! You can go on holiday, buy something luxurious or even carry on saving to get a car or whatever your heart desires.
- Be more understanding of people who don't drink. If your friend still wants to come to bars and doesn't drink, then just feel good that he still wants to be there with you even though he doesn't need to be there to drink. Don't keep pestering and asking why and trying to get them to drink.
- If you still want to drink, then do it safely. Don't binge drink, don't drink drinks that don't agree with you (make you angry/violent), and don't drive.
- Whatever you're doing, enjoy it! Once you're doing it because you feel you have to, then it's an addiction. Please try to get help if this applies to you.