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Thread: Marijuana Versus Alcohol

  1. #1 Marijuana Versus Alcohol 
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    So which is worse and why?

    Do you agree that marijuana/cannabis should be illegal and alcohol legal?

    Which one of these do you think causes the most harm?
    (the statistics are obviously influenced by the fact that cannabis is illegal and alcohol is legal and therefore more or less users)

    I would be very interested to know what you think.

    Or any experiences of the benefits or not of either substance.

    Thank you


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  3. #2  
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    I lost a very close life long friend through alcohol, I am not happy with the way the law stands at present, in some counties a small amount of marijuana will be overlooked, in others it will be prosecuted heavily.

    It is becoming easier to find people who carry it. Now listen to this

    Suppose 1 (reported) crime is committed in a village say a shop theft but this remains unsolved. The county force has a village where 0% of crime is solved, now suppose they know of an addict living there. If they 'bust' the addict say 3 times in a year then the crime solution rate has climbed from 0 to 75% in a short space of time. I'm not suggesting the police are motivated in this way, just that their actions in the UK since this method of performance assessment was introduced is, IMO very consistant.

    Which is worse? who knows either can kill if mishandled, but then so can just about anything else around.

    If I sound pissed off? THis very morning I've lost something very precious to me. I feel like I've stepped on a very rare and beautiful butterfly, Dammit I really should look before I put my foot in it!


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  4. #3  
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    Short term alcohol is probably more damaging. Long term Marijuana would probably far more damaging on a societal level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I lost a very close life long friend through alcohol, I am not happy with the way the law stands at present, in some counties a small amount of marijuana will be overlooked, in others it will be prosecuted heavily.

    It is becoming easier to find people who carry it. Now listen to this

    Suppose 1 (reported) crime is committed in a village say a shop theft but this remains unsolved. The county force has a village where 0% of crime is solved, now suppose they know of an addict living there. If they 'bust' the addict say 3 times in a year then the crime solution rate has climbed from 0 to 75% in a short space of time. I'm not suggesting the police are motivated in this way, just that their actions in the UK since this method of performance assessment was introduced is, IMO very consistant.

    Which is worse? who knows either can kill if mishandled, but then so can just about anything else around.

    If I sound pissed off? THis very morning I've lost something very precious to me. I feel like I've stepped on a very rare and beautiful butterfly, Dammit I really should look before I put my foot in it!
    There wouldn't be any crime to have been committed if drug addiction wasn't a crime.

    Drug addiction as well as alcohol, is a symptom usually of a serious condition.
    People often use drugs because they are either young and impressionable, or in some groups it is seen as a social requisite e.g cocaine, ecstacy.
    But more often than not people use drugs to escape pain, misery, abuse and hurt and also as an escape from facing up to reality or dealing with problems.
    Prosecuting these people and labelling them as criminals only makes their problems worse and instead of leading them off the drug, it is more likely to lead them deeper into it.
    It would be far better to get these people off the drug by tackling the issues underlying their drug use.

    How much does it cost to prosecute. Couldn't that money be better spent by helping these people? The costs of prosecuting would be greatly reduced if society managed to get more people off the drugs.

    We all need an escape route sometimes wether that be films a book or a spot of gardening. If people wish to use a drug to escape, wouldn't it be better if they used Cannabis?

    If eaten, the drug has been proven to be safe, with no long term effects or health complications. It has never led to anyone dying or harming another person whilst under it's influence.

    Whereas alcohol.......well i don't need to write what i'm sure the effects some of you have read about, seen or experienced whilst having a night out on the town!

    Beautiful butterflies? Are probably not as rare as you think.
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    Cannabis longterm has serious psychological and motivational effects which is why I believe it is more dangerous. Far from escapism it can cause a lot more problems when used in this way.

    Alcohol yes has more serious acute effects in that people drink-drive and get in fights when they have too much.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Short term alcohol is probably more damaging. Long term Marijuana would probably far more damaging on a societal level.
    Why on a social level?

    I thought it was considered a social drug in that people got together, smoked it and had interesting philosophical chats?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with most of what's said here:

    1. Legalise it
    2. Marijuana is both less addictive (almost non-addictive) and does not give you hangovers.

    Also, as Minxywoo has it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy

    If eaten, the drug has been proven to be safe, with no long term effects or health complications. It has never led to anyone dying or harming another person whilst under it's influence.
    This may not be technically absolutely correct since I know (from personal experience) that driving under the influence of THC is much more dangerous than under the influence of alcohol and I cannot but imagine that people have been killed by this in the past. A strict DUI law should sort that out in any case. But the point is a good one: I do not know (despite the USian 'Reefer madness' films) of marijuana ever raising anybody's aggressiveness.

    Pity that the government's making noises about upgrading it again to Class B or some such. A lost opportunity IMO.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Short term alcohol is probably more damaging. Long term Marijuana would probably far more damaging on a societal level.
    Why on a social level?

    I thought it was considered a social drug in that people got together, smoked it and had interesting philosophical chats?
    Because it is highly psychologically addictive. Alcohol is a social drug too.
    It causes memory problems, psychomotor impairment, apathy, and psychoses. To have a large amount of your population taking such a drug and suffering such effects is far more difficult to deal with than something mechanical like liver problems which arises in vrey few.
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  10. #9  
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    Well consuming too much marijuana as apposed to alcohol has far greater consequences in my opinion. If you overdose on marijuana you will recieve what I think is called toxic psychosis which includes hallucinations, delusions and a loss of self-identification. With beer you still know who your are.

    You actually gain breathing difficulties and deteriorating physical abilities. Apparently though smoking marijuana speeds up the heart, blood and breathing rate. The more this happens the more the body is relie to do this and this speeds up the aging process just like that drug that cures, or rather treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes are also more at risk. Chemical balances within the brain are also affected which usually dirupts the pleasure recptors in the brain.

    Although it can be used for treating of glychoma (if thats how you spell it), moderation of the drug is the best policy.

    In my opinion it should remain an illegal class C drug, it can be very serious in the long term from taking it, very serious and so should remain illegal.


    As for alcohol, well:

    1: A strong urge to drink, difficulty controlling how much they drink, or difficulty stopping.

    2: Physical withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, agitation and nausea when they try to reduce drinking.

    3: A growing tolerance to alcohol - needing larger quantities to get the same effect.

    4:Gradual neglect of other activities.

    5:Persistent drinking even though it is obviously causing harm.

    So this can lead to psyhological problems of anxiety and henceforth depression and other illness', eventually perhaps that persons life screwed up if continues.

    And they are just short term effects wihtin drinking for only about 1 year. Here are long term effects:

    1: Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver

    2: Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

    3: High blood pressure (which can lead to stroke)

    4: Certain types of cancer, including mouth and throat

    5: Damage to the brain

    6: Heart failure

    7: Neurological problems such as epilepsy

    8: Certain types of vitamin deficiency

    And excessive drinking:

    1: Obesity
    2: Sexual problems
    3: Infertility
    4: Muscle disease
    5: Skin problems

    So overall in my opinion alcohol can affect the physiological side of the human body and cannabis the psychological. I'd rather avoid both and am glad I do, but if I had to choose between doing one or the other, if I had to, it would be cannabis. Alcohol is too damaging, there is absolutley no gain what so ever from consuming it.


    Links for information obtained for this article:

    Alcohol:

    http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/M...hol_abuse.html

    Marijuana:

    http://www.marijuana-addiction.net/m...de-effects.htm
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    1: A strong urge to drink, difficulty controlling how much they drink, or difficulty stopping.

    2: Physical withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, agitation and nausea when they try to reduce drinking.

    3: A growing tolerance to alcohol - needing larger quantities to get the same effect.

    4:Gradual neglect of other activities.

    5:Persistent drinking even though it is obviously causing harm.
    These are pretty much the DSM criteria for substance addiction so occur in very few.
    Admittedly the same could be argued for Cannabis but it is not a simple addiction problem as I and svwillmer highlighted above, it also has other serious psychological effects which are difficult to deal with as well as the drug. So I would choose alcohol over cannabis.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I tend to agree with most of what's said here:

    1. Legalise it
    2. Marijuana is both less addictive (almost non-addictive) and does not give you hangovers.
    Maybe people should have a license for such things, only when they can fully demonstrate they understand the risks etc would they be allowed to buy it. The government could then make lots of money by making the licenses expensive, and taxing the product.

    Alcohol is a great servant but a terrible master, everything in moderation, nothing in excess. THe same is true I believe for 'soft' drugs.

    Anything that screws up the chemical balance in your brain may well give you a high, and indeed explain the writings of Nietzshe!

    Last time I lit up the wacky baccy? - jeesh I can't remember back that far. Seems everybody has tried it.
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  13. #12  
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    Would also do the same for Freud .
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  14. #13 HIC! 
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    Robbie – from what I have seen and experienced with alcohol, from people pissing and puking in the street, threatening to kill each other, doing dreadful things and and either not remembering or regretting it in the morning (in their own bed, in a strangers bed or a police cell) as well as acting like total an utter anti-social obnoxious morons, I would say most definitely alcohol is NOT a social substance.

    It is only considered ‘social’ because it is sold in drug dens called bars, pubs and clubs, where the morons congregate in order to
    1. Fool themselves into believing they are having a great time
    2. Give their selves superficial confidence. (but usually end up over doing it and looking like a pratt)
    3. Or pick up someone of the opposite (or same) sex in the hope they might be so inebriated they won’t be able to say no.


    As for the risks, well driving under the influence of any substance is stupid. I was talking about taking the drug under sensible conditions. Without the use of tobacco, alcohol etc or driving a car, in it’s pure form.

    Yes psychologically it does incur ‘It causes memory problems, psychomotor impairment, apathy, and psychoses.’ As you said, but these effects are short term.

    It does have addictive qualities, especially when smoked with tobacco. I know many people that can’t do without a bit of puff. But this is psychological and not physical addiction and the lack of it certainly doesn’t get people into such a state as to having to commit a crime in order to get a hit.

    Doctors surgeries and hospitals are inundated with people suffering medical complications and liver disease from alcohol use.

    Svwillmer you said ‘If you overdose on marijuana you will recieve what I think is called toxic psychosis which includes hallucinations, delusions and a loss of self-identification’ – well c’mon this is one of the reasons people take it!
    You need to take an awful lot to get hallucinations and as for delusions, well that boils down to your personal susceptibility to be easily deluded. Three successive cups of coffee can make someone deluded if they are that way inclined.
    A loss of self –identification , that is an added bonus.

    Predominantly it’s a relaxant.

    Yes it can give apathy and make you lie down, shut your eyes and drift off for a while. But it is only as long as the drug lasts (couple of hours) and is a conscious decision by the user to do that, someone else might go off and read a book or lie in the bath or meditate.

    It helps you switch off for a little while.

    The best way to enjoy being stoned is
    1. Have a puff with some good mates and have some interesting entertaining discussions
    2. Have a puff alone, put some good music on and drift. It really helps you get into it!!

    I would much rather get stoned than stone drunk. I don’t regret anything in the morning!
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  15. #14 Re: HIC! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy
    I would much rather get stoned than stone drunk. I don’t regret anything in the morning!
    Exactly my point, too. Perhaps Megabrain's idea of licencing it might...

    Or simply legalise it and tax it at the swingeing rates of tax on alcohol and tobacco. The government makes a packet, the jails are less crowded, and the police can get on with solving and preventing real crimes.
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    I hate not having all my mental faculties available to me or not having control over them. The last few years when I went a little too far with the “karate water”, which is still way before puking and misbehaving, I felt VERY irritated at not being in control of my faculties. So I won’t even try Cannabis since I don’t need it to unwind, nor do I need a stimulant to help deal with stress. Alcohol, for me, is purely a lubricant for a nice philosophical conversation and as medicine for my frustrating inability to make small talk.

    On another note, I’ve heard of a “blocker” drug that can be taken to prevent, I think, cocaine from entering the brain and wreaking havoc. Apparently we have some kind of chemical barrier or filter that only lets some chemical through to the brain. That is why, for instance, taking a serotonin shot or pill has no effect as it is blocked by this barrier. So, and I think I have heard of the development of this, could it not be possible to design a drug that might prevent alcohol from reaching the brain when a certain percentage is present in the blood? One downside might be that you drink until mellow, the drug kicks in so no more alcohol reaches the brain, but you keep on drinking anyway without limit, still causing damage to the liver, etc.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Yeah it is an interesting question but my mind is made up here... Im irish!
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  18. #17  
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    I think that if you legalised both alcohol and marijuana it would be interesting.

    One of the main problems with marijuana at the moment is that it is illegal.
    (i'm not a stoner before you ask)
    but it seems that the marijuana comes from an illegal source which could indirectly be a criminal gang, perhaps by buying a drug you are funding a criminal gang which could be involved in prostitution, child trafficing? all horrible offences.

    I think if you legalised the drug, and made it of equal standing with alcohol. e.g tax it heavily, license it, quality control. there wouldn't be a problem.

    I think that both have potential health risks but in my opinion cannabis is a safer option.
    Also legalising it would help stop terrible criminal gangs. potentially
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  19. #18  
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    Does anyone agree that alcohol should be illegal and marijuana legal? Can you imagine how different society would be without alcohol. A stoned person is far less dangerous than a drunk person in my opinion.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Does anyone agree that alcohol should be illegal and marijuana legal?
    i doubt that most would want to see alcohol banned just because a part of society feel obliged to drink themselves into oblivion

    do you ban cars becasue there's a few idiots that go mad when behind the wheel ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Does anyone agree that alcohol should be illegal and marijuana legal?
    i doubt that most would want to see alcohol banned just because a part of society feel obliged to drink themselves into oblivion

    do you ban cars becasue there's a few idiots that go mad when behind the wheel ?
    The trouble with alcohol is that it is extremely easy to become dependant on it.

    There are different degrees, but there seems to be alot of 'functioning alcoholics' who just about manage to hold down jobs, but seem to need a drink every evening and far more than what is recommended.

    The more you drink the more you need to get the effects because your body becomes accustomed to it.

    Alcoholicism creeps up on you without you realising it. Before you know it your addicted and if you don't drink you actually get physical symptoms.

    The problem is, alcohol is easily available and worryingly still is readily accepted in society and even positively encouraged and seen as cool!

    There's loads of 'alcoholics' in this country (UK) who won't even admit it and some probably don't realise they are.

    A good test is to stop drinking for a while and see what the reaction is. If you find yourself thinking about it alot when you normally have a drink and feel you need it, then you are becoming addicted.
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  22. #21  
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    well, penn and teller made a show on it:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=HRutaNMZt54
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y25ZoQgL0t8
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6jykMC_nEQ0

    part 3: medical marijuana is the most interesting by far,
    where a guy is standing in front of the white house smoking weed,
    legally.

    also interesting the part where they tried to make alcohol illegal, back in the start of the 1900s.
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  23. #22  
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    Alcohol is more addictive and so probably more dangerous as well. I don't feel the need to repeat points that have already been stated but one overlooked point is that marijuana affects you almost immediately while alcohol takes a while for the effects to hit you. This makes alcohol more dangerous because it is much harder to regulate how much you ingest. With marijuana you know how stoned you are - with alcohol you may think you're fine, take a few more shots and then in an hour be in the hospital. Bad judgment aside. And for the record I think judgment is worse on alcohol though that's just personal opinion.
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  24. #23  
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    have a friend who drank to the point where he had to be medically evacuated, and pumped.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  25. #24  
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    In general, I think that you shouldn't partake in anything like alcohol or marijuana if you don't have the self discipline to control your consumption. Abuse of either one of these things can take over someone's life. While I agree that alcohol is more physically addictive, it's still largely under your own control. Don't let yourself drink so much so often that you do get addicted.

    I had a friend in college who had basically tried every mind-altering drug out there at least once, and some quite a bit more than that - except for ones he knew were extremely addictive, like crystal meth. If one hit was a serious risk of addiction, it wasn't worth it. His life isn't messed up and he's doing well. He was able to partake in these things without letting them consume him.

    Unfortunately, not everybody has that kind of self control, which is why these kinds of substances are illegal or at least regulated. But if you really have no self control, and you really want to drink a lot or smoke marijuana a lot, then you're going to find ways to do it whether or not its illegal. America did try to illegalize alcohol, as dejawolf mentioned, with the Prohibition during the 1920's. Which really only benefited smugglers who were now able to add alcohol to their line of goods. It didn't last long.
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    trouble is, overconsumption sometimes creeps up on you
    i know, because i've been close + was lucky to still be able to step back before it went too far
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    I don't mean to go further into this tangent, but on the subject of what drugs or substances should be illegal or legal I really don't think it's up to the government to decide. I really don't think or like the idea that the government should heavily regulate what we do with our lives or what we decide to consume in our private lives.
    I think people should be able to do whatever they want in their own privacy as long as it is not harmful to others. If it becomes harmful, or is dangerous to the community then the government might have business actually stepping in.
    When it comes to such drugs that are mostly harmful to your own body I think it's the communities responsibility to try and act on it. This is not the government's responsibility. Marijuana should thus be legal, this allows people the freedom to smoke it or do whatever they want with it. They will be free to live the lives they want to or see fit.
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  28. #27 Marijuana Versus Alcohol 
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    I noticed in my partying days that there were usually two groups of people. Group 1 would be around a keg of beer & drinking other alcohol too. Group 2 would be passing around a joint. Sooner or later, a fight would break out among the drinkers. But if the pot smokers stuck to just the pot, everything would stay calm.
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  29. #28 Re: Marijuana Versus Alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVBIG
    I noticed in my partying days that there were usually two groups of people. Group 1 would be around a keg of beer & drinking other alcohol too. Group 2 would be passing around a joint. Sooner or later, a fight would break out among the drinkers. But if the pot smokers stuck to just the pot, everything would stay calm.
    Of course !!! If everyone smoked pot instead of drinking alcohol then the criminal justice system would be out of business !!

    The problem now is not cannabis, it is the amount of THC that is contained within the new batches of skunk that are coming out; this is done through cross-breeding plants, naturally selecting them if you will.

    I believe that it should be made legal and sold under licence, that way the government could tax it; also they could control the amount of THC in each cannabis "cigarette".
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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