Why No Alcohol | A Year Without Sugar

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Why No Alcohol?

Do you smoke marijuana?

If you live in the U.S., chances are your answer is “no.”  Around 10% of the U.S. population has used marijuana in the last year, whereas around 65% has used alcohol.

So, why don’t you use marijuana?  You are probably concerned about the health effects and this is quite a reasonable concern.  However, if you avoid marijuana because you are concerned about the health impact yet you regularly consume alcohol, you should know that there is no scientific basis for this lifestyle choice.

Chart from SaferChoice.org

The above chart, based on data compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, shows the effects of 6 common substances on 5 common measures of abuse potential:  dependence, withdrawal, tolerance, reinforcement, and intoxication.

As you can see, alcohol has far greater abuse potential than marijuana and its withdrawal is even greater than heroin.

And as you can see here, the chance of a lethal dose of alcohol is even greater than that of cocaine.

And what you see here is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

I don’t share this out of marijuana advocacy but to encourage you to view your behavior in light of science rather than social taboos.

Disclaimer:  I do personally think the science supports marijuana as a far safer choice than alcohol, but would not want to encourage anyone to consume any substance with potential negative health impact.  I’m still not a doctor, and I still don’t play one on the Internet.  Have a good long talk with your doctor about all of this.

So, you think you can’t give up alcohol for a year but you don’t smoke marijuana out of concerns for your health?

As for me, I’m cutting alcohol out of my life for a year.  If you want to join me, read The Rules.