Marijuana vs. Alcohol in the United States Essay

843 Words Apr 11th, 2013 4 Pages
Marijuana vs. Alcohol In The United States
Marijuana and alcohol are the two most threatening drugs used in America today. Marijuana is the most illicit drug while alcohol is the most abused. Both were illegal during the prohibition but when the constitution was ratified in 1933 alcohol was made legal while marijuana remained illegal. It does not mean that because alcohol is still legal it’s less dangerous than marijuana. Both drugs lead to serious risks and should be taken with caution if used.
Marijuana is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems and flowers from a hemp plant better know as Cannabis sativa. Uses of marijuana can be recreational or medical and the earliest recorded uses date from the 3rd millennium BC. (Rudgley, “The
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Alcohol is a drug; so mixing it with any other drug can be extremely dangerous. Drinking excessively over a period of time can cause problems with relationships, money or the law. It can also cause severe health problems and even death.
From 2001 to 2005 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on average more than 79,000 deaths per year was caused by excessive alcohol use. (CDC, “Vital Signs”) Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking and any drinking by pregnant women or minors. On the other hand, the CDC does not have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana. Statistically, death directly from marijuana overdose is extremely rare. However, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data, there were a total of 1.5 million drug arrests nationwide in 2011 and out of those arrests around 750,000 were for marijuana alone. (FBI, “Person’s Arrested”) While both alcohol and marijuana should not be taken with any other drug and getting behind the wheel while drunk or high poses significant risk to everyone. Alcohol is still vastly greater in number when it comes to death than marijuana but then again one is legal while the other one is not.
The legalization of marijuana has been an argument for over 70 years. Even though voters helped to legalize the drug in Colorado and Washington, it’s still legal for the rest of the United States. There are many pros and cons for marijuana
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