Article by Annie Grace, New York Daily News
There are few battles as heated as the discussion as to what’s safer — alcohol or marijuana?
Like a professional tennis match, the lobs volley back and forth. Alcohol is legal, marijuana is not (in most states). You can’t overdose on marijuana, you can on alcohol. You know what you’re getting with alcohol, not so much with marijuana.
On and the discussion goes, so we decided to look deeper and see what the science says.
Alcohol may be legal, but there’s no denying it’s dangerous. In fact, the CDC reports that nearly 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur each year. Binge drinking accounts for about half of these deaths as death can occur within five minutes of binge drinking.
Alcohol is also linked to considerable long-term health issues — over seven types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues, obesity and more.
Reckless and criminal behavior increases with alcohol use. Up to 50% of all domestic violence incidences occur when alcohol is involved. The odds of being in a car accident increase by more than 2,200% when drinking alcohol.
Alcohol use can also lead to risky sexual behavior, increasing incidences of sexual violence, lack of protection or infidelity.
Concerning as well are the cases of alcohol-induced blackouts. Drinking heavily can even lead to the brain’s inability to create new memories.
Marijuana is often touted as the most misunderstood miracle drug out there — but is it really? While marijuana is often used to treat a variety of diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, some studies have linked marijuana to an increased risk of developing certain cancers, especially lung cancer. Further studies are being conducted to establish the veracity of those links.
Death caused by marijuana use is almost zero. According to a recent study, a fatal dose of THC, the main chemical in marijuana, is between 15 and 70 grams. That equates to smoking between 238 and 1,113 joints in a single day in order to overdose on marijuana.