A New Study On Cannabis/Alcohol Aggression Shows…

A New Study On Cannabis/Alcohol Aggression Shows… | Stoner Blog

Alcohol and cannabis are placed side by side for comparison constantly. People are always talking about how “cannabis is more dangerous than alcohol” or “alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis”. There are those who suggest cannabis laws reflect alcohol laws, ie public intoxication, open container laws, and in those horrible states, internal possession. But are alcohol and cannabis even in the same league? The same sport? The only reason anyone compares the two is because alcohol also had to go through prohibition before it became widely accepted/advertised/used. A new study produced from the Netherlands and published in the journal Psychopharmacology takes a shot at shooting down the “cannabis is more dangerous than alcohol” myth once and for all.

The study was pretty simple, actually. Take three groups of people. One group of twenty individuals who drink (three drinks a day per man and two a day per woman), twenty-one heavy cannabis users (those who smoked at least three times a week), and a group of twenty control subjects who didn’t partake in either substance. The researchers got the alcohol group drunk enough so that they’re BAC measured at 0.08, which is the level at which you become impaired. And then the researchers got the cannabis users high, giving them 300 micro-grams of THC per kilogram of body weight, ingested via vaporizer. The control group just sat around and did nothing.

Each group then underwent a series of tests. First, they started with the “single category implicit association test”, meaning the subjects had to match positive and negative words to photos that showed aggressive behavior, such as punching or kicking. The second test consisted on the subjects playing a game on a computer. In the game, they had an opponent that they were told was winning money away from them but their adversary was only a computer. Aggression in each subject was measured before and after the test by asking each participant how angry they felt on a 1-100 scale. To be sure of their findings, the researchers had the alcohol and cannabis groups complete the tests a second time, a week later and sober, just to gather all possible information.

The results? Alcohol users rated themselves as more angry when they were drunk and they also tried harder to undermine the computer opponent in the game. The stoner group, on the other hand, showed less aggression toward the computer game and overall, less anger throughout the entire test. This study falls in with the others of it’s kind, including the one done in 2014 that showed couples who smoke have a lower rate of domestic violence. It just goes to show that those dramatic headlines that shout about stoners in psychosis jumping off of buildings or shooting themselves (while tragic) probably contain other factors and are not commonplace to begin with.

A New Study On Cannabis/Alcohol Aggression Shows… | Stoner Blog

Alcohol Vs. Marijuana: A Fair Fight?

Alcohol Vs. Marijuana: A Fair Fight?

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People spend a lot of time comparing cannabis to alcohol. Fair enough. The two substances do have a couple things in common. They both get a lot of hate from people, they both suffered through long years of prohibition, and they both alter the way we see the world. But putting the two up against each other in a one-on-one comparison? It may seem like a good idea but are these two substances comparable enough to actually have that be a fair turnout?

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Alcohol has been around for a really, really long time. Fermentation and distilling and the process of making alcoholic beverages is considered a craft, something that not everyone can do. Which is true. The process of making beer and liquor is long and arduous, not for those who aren’t motivated. And the substance can definitely be enjoyed in moderation, as is the case with most things that exist in our world. The alcohol industry rakes money in, creates jobs, and produces a product that is one of the top selling consumer items on the market, especially with the economy being where it is. All of these things seem great but is booze really that fantastic? With a high rate of overdosing, maybe not. Alcohol’s effects are also far more potent as compared to marijuana, causing double vision, impaired judgement, and terrible coordination. And when someone experiencing these effects gets behind the wheel of a car or does something else that may cause harm to the user and others, the situation has the potential to get really bad.

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In the US alone, there are 88,000 deaths a year that are contributed to excessive use of alcohol. This legal substance that is sold at almost every corner store is the third leading lifestyle related cause of death in the nation. Over consumption of alcohol has lead to 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually or in other words, each person who died from alcohol consumption could have lived an average of 30 years after their death, had they not consumed the alcohol. In the year 2006, there were 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 physician office visits that were found out to be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Additionally, the economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006? An estimated $223.5 billion.

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So after reading those numbers, alcohol looks pretty terrible. It’s also legal, which makes the fact that it’s so dangerous even more appalling. Compared to marijuana, alcohol looks like the monster that hides in every child’s closet. Seeing as how there are no ACTUAL recorded deaths that were directly caused by cannabis (at least none that my half hour scour of Google showed me), it would appear that cannabis should clearly be legal and alcohol should be the one that’s outlawed. Cannabis causes no deaths, it’s virtually impossible to overdose on the substance, and it doesn’t produce the same mind altering effects that alcohol does. There is no double vision, no abundance of over-sociableness, and no random urges to punch the stranger next to you in the face because he likes the Raiders instead of the Patriots.

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But while cannabis doesn’t have any deaths chalked up to it’s use this far, there are scattered reports that since the legalization began, there have been a handful of deaths that were a direct effect of marijuana ingestion. Relating mostly to edibles, these stories are pretty scary and leave some people wondering if there may be some kinds of brain that don’t handle THC the same as others. Perhaps certain underlying causes contribute to this incredibly violent psychoactive behavior? Or maybe just the low tolerance of these users is what causes the reaction. Or perhaps the person was ready to snap and these incidents are just coincidences. The reasoning behind the incidents is unclear but seeing as how an overdose of marijuana would involve ingesting 1,500 pounds in around 15 minutes, it’s highly unlikely that these deaths were caused directly by cannabis consumption.

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In regards to driving while under the influence of cannabis, traffic accidents in Colorado are actually down from the normal yearly average. And while that in no way means that you should be getting baked and driving, it does show that people aren’t being dumb about the new laws. The citizens of Colorado are showing that with legalization comes the concept of moderation, the key to using any substance, legal or not. In addition, teen use of the plant is also on the decline, compared to outstanding amounts of teen alcohol use.

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What is the bottom line? Cannabis and alcohol cannot really be compared. The two substances produce different effects for the person using them. For example, if two college kids are playing shot for shot (or hit for hit, in the case of cannabis) and one kid passes out and the other doesn’t because one drank or smoked a little too much, is it the fault of the substance? No. User error. Substances will exist whether we create them or not. Nature creates plants and animals (referring to some toads that apparently can make you trip out if you touch them? May be a myth… Don’t touch toads regardless) that get other animals intoxicated. You don’t see deer and bees running their little cars off of the road, do you? Or perhaps rabbits that eat pot plants geeking out and jumping off of buildings? The odd human desire for “more” takes over, creating issues that can lead to serious injury or in some unfortunate cases, death. People do not know how to moderate their substance intake, creating the few problems outlined above. If the human race could learn how to moderate, only take what they need and nothing more, then substance abuse would no longer be an issue.

Alcohol Vs. Marijuana: A Fair Fight?

Marijuana & Alcohol

Marijuana & Alcohol; Stoner Blog

In Colorado we are extreme. We have an abundance of craft beer breweries (more than 232!), 14,000 mile high mountains, Olympic runners, an extra need for sun block, and we are the first to have our legal weed. With our new “privilege” of being able to smoke marijuana legally and recreationally people have wondered, “should our old buddy alcohol feel threatened?” I believe the answer is no. However, we can dish it out here and look at some facts and numbers: It is anticipated that taxes on marijuana could produce $100 million annually. In fact, in the first month

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Colorado made 2 million dollars in tax revenue. Colorado craft breweries are said to be one of the fastest growing industries in 2014. Marijuana is also said to be one of the fastest growing industries in 2014 (shocker). Denver’s major league field is named Coors Field. As for alcohol taxes and what they bring in each year, those numbers were harder to find. However, I did learn that alcohol is taxed by volume, not price, and it is 8 cents per gallon. This alcohol tax for Colorado is also one of the lowest in the United States. With that said, that brings me to another point…Why is marijuana taxed so highly if alcohol is not? It appears that alcohol is not taxed nearly as high as marijuana, a whopping 25% collectively along with the usually 2.9% sales tax. I think I smell a double standard.

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Putting taxes aside, let us get real; alcohol and weed complement each other. They are like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, and Snoop Dog and his marijuana; the perfect match. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I was at a party that did not have both. Will they really compete? Will marijuana threaten alcohol sales? Nahhh, I say they will piggy back off of each other instead. And besides that, this “competition” really is not anything new. Who really believes that alcohol has not been competing (or complementing?) with the marijuana black market sales over the years, anyway? C’mon, really? Yes. For. Years. Looks like the War on Drugs had some loop holes in it.

Happy Tokin’,

Writing by: Jenn M. 😀

Marijuana & Alcohol; Stoner Blog