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Marijuana vs Alcohol

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Introduction

There is no culture in the history of mankind that did not ever use some kind (kinds) of drugs. Despite the well-known consequences of drug addiction, millions of people constantly consume different legal and illegal drugs. Affecting people's mind and changing their behavior, drugs become one of the most threatening factors of social risk, resulting in increasing rates of mortality, aggressive and criminal behavior, and dissolution of social ties. This paper is devoted to the most commonly used drugs in the groups of legal and illegal drugs--alcohol in the first and marijuana in the second. It is argued that hardly any of two can be seen preferable over the other, and both have negative impact on the society through changing the behavior of individuals consuming them. The health impact of any drug depends on how it's used, who's using it, how much is used, and under what circumstances. Marijuana and alcohol are no exception, so comparing them directly is difficult - each possesses the potential for unique risks or benefits. ...read more.

Middle

A second fundamental difference is in the route of administration. Although, marijuana is occasionally ingested, it is mostly smoked. Our respiratory systems were simply not built to handle smoke. Like cigarette smoke, marijuana smoke contains carbon monoxide, carcinogens, tars and other toxins. Some research even indicates that marijuana smokers who hold the smoke in their lungs for a long time before exhaling is on. In terms of deaths in which alcohol or marijuana was directly implicated, alcohol wins out by an overwhelming majority. According for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 20,867 people died in the United States from alcohol use in 2003. This figure excludes accidents and homicides in which alcohol played a role. On the contrary, according to BBS News there have been no reported cases of a death in which marijuana was directly implicated. Likewise, to put things into a simpler perspective, if a girl is drinking at a party, she will want to dance or maybe even be raped because of the severe decrease of her inhibitions that alcohol renders. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, the only situation where alcohol is considered illegal is with those who are underage. That brings up the issue of driving impairment as a result of marijuana use vs. alcohol use. It is well established that alcohol increases accident risk. Evidence of marijuana's culpability in on-road driving accidents is much less convincing. Although cannabis intoxication has been shown to mildly impair psychomotor skills, this impairment does not appear to be severe or long lasting. In driving simulator tests, this impairment is typically manifested by subjects decreasing their driving speed and requiring greater time to respond to emergency situations. Nevertheless, this impairment does not appear to play a significant role in on-road traffic accidents. This result is likely because subject under the influence of marijuana are aware of their impairment and compensate for it accordingly, such as by slowing down and by focusing their attention when they know a response will be required. This reaction is just the opposite of that exhibited by drivers under the influence of alcohol, who tend to drive in a more risky manner proportional to their intoxication. ...read more.

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