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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Marijuana looks safer than Alcohol

There is no lethal dose of Marijuana as there is Alcohol, and no significant changes to brain structure. However, alcohol can severely damage brain function. Many Universities across the country including both Colorado State Universities and Appalachian State University have brought arguments before their schools in an attempt to equalize penalties for alcohol and marijuana consumption.

Intoxication:
Marijuana is much safer than alcohol in terms of temporary impairment. While alcohol causes sever motor skill deficiency rendering one unable to drive or perform other coordinated tasks, marijuana does little other than slow these processes down.

Withdrawal:
Alcohol withdrawal is widely known as one of the biggest reasons it is hard to stop drinking. Marijuana however, has no physical withdrawals (other than the psychological withdrawal of not being high).

Tolerance:
Alcohol tolerance increases substantially with abuse. While marijuana tolerance will increase with use, there is a much smaller difference between a pothead and first time smoker’s needs than there is an alcoholic and a first time drinker.

Dependence:
It is very difficult for Alcoholics to put the bottle down for good. Marijuana has been smoked by nearly 50% of all Americans, and only 1% of that number smoke regularly. Take the total number of citizens in the United States and figure how many people have tried alcohol, and how many are alcoholics, and you’ll be left with a figure 10 times that of marijuana.

Reinforcement:
Reinforcement is one of those qualities that it is hard to measure by taking a substance, but what it really means is potential for addiction. Marijuana has almost no potential for physical addiction (as stated in withdrawals) but can be psychologically addicting. Many marijuana users get used to the lifestyle and quitting the substance isn’t the problem, it’s the social life they have developed around it.

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