New Study Finds That Alcohol Makes You Violent But Pot Calms You Down
Scientific researchers have confirmed what we’ve thought all along: alcohol is much more harmful than marijuana. The study says that when analyzed at the individual level, alcohol has resulted in more deaths, followed by tobacco, cocaine, heroin. The study also suggests that the risks of alcohol have been greatly underestimated in the past.
Marijuana was found to be the least deadly and is ranked as the safest recreational substance there is. This isn’t what the government and big companies want you to know, but it should at least govern policies on illicit substances. Here are some facts to chew on:
The truth is that alcohol isn’t just harmful to you as a person: it’s also harmful to society in general. Drunk driving alone killed 9,967 people in 2014 alone. Alcohol can impair your senses much more than other substances. Booze also makes you more aggressive, and is responsible for 40% of violent crimes.
But what about marijuana and violence? Ask any pothead and they’ll tell you that weed calms them down, and even relaxes them. It’s no surprise that the most common stereotype of a pothead is a stoned couch potato, totally content with the munchies.
A new study from the Netherlands conducted a random controlled trial. The participants include 20 heavy drinkers (the men drank at least 3 drinks a day while the women had at least 2 drinks) and 21 cannabis users who lit up at least 3 times a week. They also recruited 20 people who didn’t use either substance at all. The researchers then got the alcohol drinkers very drunk until their blood alcohol levels came out to .08 which is recognized as the threshold for impairment. Then they also got the marijuana users stoned by giving them 300 micrograms of THC for every kilogram of bodyweight through a vaporizer. On the other hand the control group who didn’t use any of the substances, needless to say, didn’t get to have any fun at all in this study.
All three groups were then required to take tests that were designed to get people angry. The first test asked them to match positive and negative words to pictures that showed violent behavior such as kicking and punching. For the second part the participants were asked to play a computer game where they were told that they could win some cash simply by pressing buttons. The respondents were pitted against someone who could undermine them by stole money from them. They had no idea that the adversary was a computer.
Thier levels of aggression were measured by researchers before and after the tests. The participants were asked how much aggression they felt using a 100 point scale. As a separate control they had both pot and booze users do all the tests again one week later but without the substances. The findings revealed that alcohol intoxication was responsible for subjective aggression among the drinkers. Those who drank were more aggressive when they were drunk as compared to when they were sober. On the other hand, marijuana users were actually less aggressive when they were stoned.
The researchers concluded: “The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression.”
Surprise? Not really.
In 2014 a study by the University of Buffalo showed that grass-loving couples were linked to less domestic violence. The findings of the study were consistent even after changing variables. Another awesome study conducted in the 80’s asked stoned undergrads to give electrical shocks to people, but the higher they were, the less interested they were in nuking other people.
While pot can make us do silly things sometimes, it’s good to know that scientists have been able to prove that it’s much less harmful than booze.
Seth Green: A Cerebral Palsy Warrior For Cannabis As Medicine
Why “THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN” argument doesn’t Justify Cannabis Prohibition
How the Legal Status of Cannabis Effects Smoke Shops in the U.S.