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What is More Dangerous, Marijuana or Alcohol?

In recent times, marijuana has slowly become less and less of a taboo subject, however, there is the debate about alcohol vs marijuana? The gradual legalization has made marijuana a hot topic, both for its recreational uses and medicinal properties. The biggest questions that remain are, is it dangerous and is it more dangerous than alcohol? Given the length of time that alcohol has been legal most people would assume that it is the safer option, but is that true?

Risk from Alcohol

While alcohol may be readily available to anyone over the age of 21, it still comes with risk both to your judgment and health. According to the CDC, excessive alcohol consumption leads to around 88,000 deaths annually. Alcohol consumption comes with both long-term and short-term effects on a person, such as:

  • Impairment of judgment leading to injuries from motor vehicle accidents, drowning, falls and physical instability.
  • People under the influence of alcohol could become violent, which has led to murder, assault, and sexual assault.
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders among women who are pregnant and consuming alcohol may lead to miscarriage, death, and birth defects.
  • Excessive alcohol use can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, heart disease, and digestive problems.
  • Mental health problems
  • Alcoholism
  • Learning and memory problems that can affect the ability to learn or remember things later in life.

Risk of Marijuana

Many people see the risks of marijuana use to be far less than that of alcohol consumption. There are still risks to using marijuana despite the fact that it is natural. Which would be the reason for its long-term legal issues. Marijuana was made illegal in 1937 for reasons that aren’t quite clear. According to the CDC, the risk of marijuana use includes:

  • Impaired immune response
  • Possible negative effect on heart function
  • Short-term memory impairment and learning abilities
  • Long-term effects on the lungs, similar to those of smoking cigarettes
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Interference with ovulation and pre-natal development

Alcohol and Marijuana; In comparison

Comparing alcohol and marijuana side by side may leave you feeling a little stunned. Alcohol has been legal since 1933, even though the only benefit of consuming alcohol in excess, as most people do, is a few possible hours of euphoria. Marijuana has been illegal since 1937 and has been proven to have medicinal purposes far beyond its recreational reputation. When comparing them side by side, it is best to keep in mind that both can be vices and both can be beneficial. They, also, will both have a different effect from person to person. According to a study conducted by, Pew Research,  69% of Americans believe that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana. The truth is there isn’t a scientific answer to whether or not one is more dangerous than the other. Both marijuana and alcohol have a risk and until further research is done, consumer opinion will reign the topic of whether or not one is more dangerous than the other.

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