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Alcohhol versus Marijuana



February 12, 2011 – Comments (35) | RELATED TICKERS: POT

I still don't understand why the hell Marijuana is not legalized

Cons of alcohol: More expensive to get drunk than high, terrible for your liver, makes you burn muscle and raises estrogen making you fatter, makes you feel like crap the next day, makes you make poor decisions (marijuana alters your perception obviously but nobody cheats on their wives because they were high), dehydrates you, makes some people violent, makes you smell terrible, tastes horrible, makes your sleep terrible, makes (me at least) take a huge crap the next morning


Cons of marijuana: memory loss which is pretty much reversible if you quit


When I speak to people about it, even people that don't use it don't care if other people do...I don't think I have ever met anybody outraged by it....what is the big deal seriously?

35 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM, Bays (29.02) wrote:

The Canadian gov't would make a killing if they legalized maijuana and were able to collect taxes off the sales.  They would also save a ton of costs on the justice system.

I've lived in both the US and in Canada, and I believe Canada will  legalze before the US ever will (with the exception of California). 

Seems much more accepted here than across the border.

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#2) On February 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM, BroadwayDan (98.10) wrote:

Great article on the subject by legendary Fool, David "Pencils2" Kretzmann.’s-cannabis-choice-in-2010/

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#3) On February 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM, dragonLZ (83.16) wrote:

I've never smoked marijuana, but if it is true that marijuana doesn't make you take a huge crap the next morning, I'm all for it.

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#4) On February 12, 2011 at 12:25 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


That was hysterical. Although I gotta ask, what awful beer are you drinking? Old Style?

David in Qatar

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#5) On February 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM, TravisWilliamson (< 20) wrote:

i'll tell ya what, i never got paranoid or had freaky halucinations from drinking, but i cannot smoke a spliff without freakin' out. probably for the best anyway!

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#6) On February 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

Dragon, that was hilarious.

David, its usually not from beer.  I dont drink very often but when I do (I am not gonna say "I prefer dos equis") its usually vodka (even though i hate vodka, its just usually what I wind up with).  Sometimes after heavy drinking I wake up at 430 am and my stomach is killing me.  As for beer, I am a Guiness Draught type of guy.

Bays, great points...even more reasons to legalize it.  I also think all drugs should be legalized, as 70% of criminals in jail are due to drug charges so legal costs would go way down, strong arming violence would go down, and drug prices would go down so junkies would rob less people....but that is a much harder battle to fight.

wwt17, but that doesnt make it inherently worse for you...just means you don't like it.

Also, people don't throw up from marijuana


By the way David, I am taking this stupd class called Energy, Ecology, and Economy. My girlfriend is an evironmnetal science major so I learn a lot about environmental problems from her (shes not one of the obnoxious ones thank god) but I still don't know a lot.  In class I try to argue why government policies make energy problems worse not better.  I talk about how welfare policies encourage an increasing population because people have kids they can't afford, how government uses more energy than citizens, etc.

Now, I know in practice it does not make sense for government to step in.  However, in theory, how else could we solve our environmental problems?  It seems as though there is no incentive for any individual not to pollute as much as possible or use as much energy as possible and only an outside force could slow it all down...again I need to focus theoretically so I can get through to my hard headed class who won't really listen when I talk about how much the government suxxx

Also, have you ever read 'The Ultimate Resource'?  I am wondering if this book would answer some questiosn but I have about 15 other books to read first ("The State" being one of them) and don't want to read that first unless its useful.

Off topic, I know, but I didn't know where else to reach you.

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#7) On February 12, 2011 at 1:22 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


As for beer, I am a Guiness Draught type of guy.

Same here, though I have been on a Kilkenny kick lately.

As for the stickiest of the ickies, I smoked quite a bit in college but not much since then. Been several years now. I never had a problem with it. I'm at the point now where I never want to be anything but sober, so weed is pretty much out the question and anything over 3 beers is too many.  As for legality, we all know how I feel.

It seems as though there is no incentive for any individual not to pollute as much as possible or use as much energy as possible and only an outside force could slow it all down

Use as much energy...... seems strange to think of it that way. First Law of Thermodynamics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is merely transferred.

As far as existing energy resources, consuming too much of them isn't the problem. Restricting what can be produced, who can produce it, and in what quantity, causes our energy headaches.

Pollution is a property rights issue. Governments and professors do not want to look at it this way because they don't really want you to have property rights in the first place. That's a problem. It's probably a divide that can't be crossed in your classroom.

Limited liability creates an incentive to pollute. Lack of punishment for violating property rights creates an incentive to pollute. Governments setting a poor example gives an incentive to pollute. For years, the US Navy dumped all its trash in the oceans. Ugh.  The TVA is a notorious polluter. Of course, wars are great polluters in general.  It's hard to take governments seriously when they say they can curb other people's pollution. They can't even curb their own.

have you ever read 'The Ultimate Resource'

I have not, but I will look it up! Thanks for the tip.

David in Qatar

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#8) On February 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (83.96) wrote:

Cons of marijuana: memory loss which is pretty much reversible if you quit

Wait, what were we talking about?

Seriously I'm all for legalization, even though I put down the bong a looong time ago.

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#9) On February 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM, kdakota630 (29.44) wrote:




I'm with you on the legalization thing.  I've only done it a few times myself but only when I've been really drunk, so I don't know if it's ever done anything for me.  Recently I've come around on the legalization of all drugs (not just marijuana), as long as I'm not left picking up the tab via taxes when some drugged idiot does something stupid.

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#10) On February 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Tennessee Valley Authority

David in Qatar

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#11) On February 12, 2011 at 2:49 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

Alcohol versus Marijuana  = Republicans verses Democrats...  :)

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#12) On February 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM, kdakota630 (29.44) wrote:


Thanks for the quick response.  I Googled TVA and the best match I got in the top 10 was the Toronto Vegetarian Association. 

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#13) On February 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM, mechincl (< 20) wrote:

There's a book I read a while back, called "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life", by Dr. Daniel Amen. It's about a hand full of the most common neurological conditions and disorders that afflict the human race, (depression, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, Tourettes, etc.), what their symptoms are, and some of the things a person can do to create the healthiest possible environment for their brain to positively impact their specific condition. In this book, Dr. Amen also commented on the affect that drugs and alcohol have on the brain. One of the tools Dr. Amen and those like him use in helping diagnose brain disorders is a tool called a SPECT study. It stands for "Single Photon Computerized Tomography". It's basically a way of mapping blood flow in the brain, and subsequently, brain activity. The product of a SPECT study is a 3 dimensional picture of the brain. Dr. Amen has done many, many SPECT studies on the human brain and seen the results of many different kinds of disorders and phenomenon on the brain. After all of his clinical experience, he has this to say regarding drug and alcohol use. "After what I've seen in my work, there's no way you could get me to use marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, or inhalants or to drink more than a glass or two of wine or beer. These substances damage the patterns in your brain, and without your brain, you are not you."

Below, I've pasted a couple shots I grabbed with my phone out of my copy of his book. The picture on the left is a SPECT study of a normal, healthy brain. The picture on the right is a picture of a 16 year olds brain after 2 years of daily marijuana usage. Notice the huge gaping holes. Those are areas of the brain that are not currently receiving much blood flow. Why? Because they aren't being used.

You asked, what is the big deal? It is perhaps a personal choice, and it is debatable whether state or federal branches of government have any business making sure people don't hurt themselves... But make no mistake about it, drugs and alcohol do NOT do your brain any favors. The idea that marijuana has no negative side affects is patently false.

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#14) On February 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

You are right it is not healthy...but it makes no sense to ban weed before alcohol.


David, I meant transforming resources into heat energy, not "using energy"

Who would be the judge of properly used property rights without a government?

I know government does more harm than good...but I am just asking what is to stop humans from burning a crapload of petroleum every day and more importantly, abusing agriculutral land and overusing it to the point where it no longer produces, or over fishing?

Also, what is your take on internalizing externalities?

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#15) On February 12, 2011 at 5:02 PM, SockMarket (34.07) wrote:

uh not really.

First off, pot can make you do stupid stuff. A good friend of mine (a girl) insisted on taking her shirt off with me after she got stoned for the first time and really couldn't understand why I thought she should keep it on...

Second, I don't know the details here, but according to my Intro to Psychology professor (and evidently The Guardian, see below) MJ smoke damages your lungs 3-5x more than cigarette smoke does.


Third, I'd argue the effects of pot are not too different from alcohol in that both simply impair your social filters so that your true nature comes out a bit more than usual. The only difference is that pot does it by "relaxin you, man" while alcohol just shuts it down. Sure there are other side effects that each produce but I dont think pot is harmless.

The argument that "look one thing thats bad is legal so something else that is just a little worse should be legal too" strikes me as off base...just saying... 

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#16) On February 12, 2011 at 7:46 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Who would be the judge of properly used property rights without a government?

You are always free to judge others. I think what you mean is who would be the ones to take action.  Again, there is no action to be taken. ChrisGraley and I had a similar discussion in another thread. A person may destroy all the land they want. It's impossible to even comprehend a scenario where someone could:

1. Buy up all the available land in a city, let alone in a country, and destory it all. What happens to the price of land as it becomes more scarce?

2. Destroy all of that land without damaging another person's property, subjecting themselves to retribution.

The moment a person violates another's property rights, they are open to retribution, whether we are delivering that retribution through government police and courts or my private secuity fanatsy land.

In the article I linked to above, the TVA destroyed 1.1 billion acres of farmland in the Chattanooga in 2009. They didn't even think they violated property rights!  It was the largest pollution disaster in mainland American history. Imagine the orgy of venom your professors would have spewed if that had been a private company! My goodness, we would never hear the end of it.

So it's not about who does the polluting. Anyone can pollute. We need to establish who is responsible, whose rights were violated, and the amount of damages with unlimited liability. That should be enough of a deterrent to keep people in line and respecting each other and the environment.

I admit that it's not always easy to identify the responsible party. But this is a problem no matter who is running the show.  And the larger and more damaging the disaster, the easier it is to finger the culprit.

There is an American model for handling pollution without regulation. Private citizens used to file nuisance complaints and the courts would order the factories/polluters to shut down operations. This was the model in America in the early days. It's a shame we went away from this. 

Also, what is your take on internalizing externalities?

I'm assuming you are talking about benefits/detriments not transmitted through price, correct? And in regards to the environment, you are speaking of detriments.

First, how do you calculate them? Interpersonal comparisons of utility are impossible to measure, because utility is subjective and ordinal, not cardinal.

To go even further, externalities cannot be revealed through economic decision making and are therefore not even a subject for economic study.  Economic study is about acting man. A man who does not act, does not engage in economic activity. 

Let me explain this further. Sitting on a couch and eating a pizza is an action. It represents a preference of action, that leisure was more important than any other action he could have taken. We can study it because it has happened. The man's action revealed his preference. If he did not act all, but merely stood aimlessly, unthinking, staring off into nothingness with no conscious mind or thougths, he would not be an economic actor. He would be impossible to study using economics.

To go further, if there is a shirt for sale and no one buys it, what can we infer from this? Nothing. We can infer nothing because we do not have enough information. Econ professors disagree, and they have many models to show why this shirt should have sold, but it's all a guess. There was no action. There was no display of preferences. There is nothing to study. We do not know why because we cannot look inside the heads of every actor in the market economy and determine why they passed on the shirt.  The price was too high? Maybe. The people are too poor? Maybe. The color or fit wasn't very good? Maybe. We don't know.

Externalities represents non-actions. The moment a person seeks damages for violation of their property (life, land, labor), they are acting and can be studied. At that moment, however, they have also removed the negative externality by making up for the detrimental cost through suit.

Does that make sense?

So how do you internalize them? You can't and you don't, because once they become economic activites, they are no longer externalities.

David in Qatar

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#17) On February 12, 2011 at 8:02 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (83.96) wrote:

Valy, just to be clear, it does alter brain patterns. I have first hand experience on this matter.

But I'm all for Legalization. Honestly we should overthrow the gubernment for this unjust law.

Ohh Crap! I probably should'nt post that.

Well as we learned from Eygypt. It's possible to change things. 

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#18) On February 12, 2011 at 10:55 PM, valunvesthere (22.75) wrote:

Could anybody imagine the time and resources in trying to add the letter C (cannabis) or the letter M (marijuana) to the acronym A.T.F. (BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES)?

It seems that they're presently having trouble fitting in the letter E (explosives) in the acronym A.T.F.

Is this BUREAU or AGENCY responsibilities expanding and FUNDING from taxpayers freezed or shrinking? 

Seal of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Badge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

I guess it'll be simpler, time and resources efficient to classify CANNABIS or MARIJUANA as ILLICIT drugs and give the acronym D.E.A. (DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION) the responsibility.

Seal of the Drug Enforcement Administration

Badge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.


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#19) On February 13, 2011 at 2:20 AM, ChrisGraley (28.63) wrote:

Marijuana is much worse on your body overall than alcohol. That being said, they are both really bad for you and you should think twice about doing either. 

Who am I to tell you that you can't voluntarily abuse your body? If you are dumb enough to allow me to force state mandated health care on you though, then I have a right to regulate your ganja consumption to curtail my healthcare costs. 

Part of you voting for me to be your daddy is that I get to tell you what to do. 

I was drinking when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. 

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#20) On February 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:


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#21) On February 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

I smoked way too much crack to think of a response

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#22) On February 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM, checklist34 (99.06) wrote:

in my view alcohol is the worse drug, for the simple reason that the acute effects are far more likely to be destructive to self, property, others, and so forth.  Someone gets really stoned, they fall asleep.  Someone gets really drunk, lord knows how dumb their behavior may become. 

Over longer periods of time, I guess I haven't actually ever had a close friend whoh I knew for a long time before and after a chronic pot habit...  but it seems to have the basic effect of making people lazy. Chronic drinking I have seen, and over time the guys who chronically drink alot eventually wind up kind of down.  Chicken or the egg argument maybe?

I think that altered frames of mind are important and something that people somehow, for whatever reason, need.  Basically every culture has found a way to "get messed up" somehow or another, and so on.   I remember in college in some debate class or some such we read a point/counterpoint from some researchers over that:  the need for humans to occasionally "get fkd up", so to speak.  That was a long time ago, and I don't clearly recall the arguments each side offered.  

But I think by and large the "healthy" and "good" aspects of getting drunk/high/etc. probably don't call for one to do it more than once a month or whatever.  

frankly I think that legalizing drugs is something I support for the most part, but that MUST accompany a reduction or elimination of socialism from society, so that we don't wind up paying for everybody who self destructs when given the chance.  

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#23) On February 13, 2011 at 4:37 PM, TooTall100 (< 20) wrote:

Why don't the Humbolts intermarry with the Irish?  They don't want to have children who are too drunk to grow weed. 

Said the Irish guy.

Yes, both are mind altering.  Sometimes not being your self is a GOOD thing.  All of those kinds of substances cause damage to the brain.  But we have VERY LARGE BRAINS :-)  We can afford to sacrifice a few brain cells here and there.  Some of the best times I have had were altered.  I wouldn't want to subtract that from the world, as if you could make it happen.

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#24) On February 13, 2011 at 5:25 PM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

Daniel, that assumes you smoke a joint, not a vaporizer or baked goods...bongs are not TOO bad either.  Plus you smoke a lot less of them then cigarette adicts smoke cigarettes.

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#25) On February 14, 2011 at 12:13 AM, ChrisGraley (28.63) wrote:

@#24 well if that is the case, then marijuana is a little better for your health than alcohol assuming both are being abused.

If both are used very moderately, then alcohol has proven positive health effects. Marijuana has a few claimed positive health effects, but major studies are lacking in that department.

Again, I really don't care what anybody else wants to do to their bodies, as long as they aren't hurting me. 


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#26) On February 14, 2011 at 2:00 AM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

Well, what I meant was that cig addicts smoke like 20 cigs a day...whereas "potheads" smoke 1-2 joints a day....3-5x 1-2 is at most, the equivalent to half of what a cig addict does to himself.  Getting "messed up" from alcohol is worse than getting "messed up" from weed.  But drinking a glass of wine is obviously a lot better for you than smoking a joint.

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#27) On February 14, 2011 at 3:17 AM, truthisntstupid (82.82) wrote:

If one's illegal, the other should be too.

Drunks kill how many people a year?

How many fights do they get in?

I've been stone cold sober for nearly 20 years now.  I'm  almost 54.

That's because I don't like to drink.  And I quit smoking pot almost 20 years ago because

1) Black market prices will keep you broke. 

2) You have to take your chances on getting caught and either fined or threatened with jail time.

3) If you don't want to hang out with the kind of people that will never  have 2 nickels to rub together, then you'll have no "connections."   If you do manage to get someone to sell to you but you never hang around, they won't know you.  Then when one of them does something stupid and gets busted, your name will be one of those that come up a lot when you're not around.  It's not a good thing.

I'll live by this damned society's unfair and discriminating law for another 11 years.   When I'm 65, that's it.  If I want to catch a damn buzz I will.

Funny how they keep their drug of choice legal.  

And another thing.  I just wonder how many people that are against legalizing marijuana are conservatives, scared to death they'll lose the "old codger" vote?

Blowing a lot of hot air bitching about "big government"  but they damn sure don't want it too small to try to catch and throw people in jail for having a little pot - do they?

And that deficit?  I bet it would evaporate in no time.  Because people would gladly pay the tax.  Gladly.

Meanwhile, how many people are killed either directly or indirectly by alcohol?

And how many are killed every day along the border and elsewhere because of this all-important drug war?

 All this points to some damn scewed-up priorities

Meanwhile, how about cancer?  Any of you know someone that couldn't keep their food down while undergoing chemo?

I've never had cancer, but I'll tell you this.  As long as you don't try to get up and go to work or anything (there are limits), a little pot will allow you to cruise through the very worse flu without ever even feeling sick.  As long as you stay home on the couch, anyway.  When you're very, very sick, you don't get the munchies.  You just get immediate, amazing, relief.  It's miraculous.

There are people that need that and could be enjoying immense relief right now.

By keeping it illegal, either people will break the law and do it anyway, or they will drink instead.  Responsible people can enjoy either one in moderation. 

 I've been sober for almost 20 damn years. 


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#28) On February 14, 2011 at 5:26 PM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

Exactamundo, truth

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#29) On February 14, 2011 at 5:41 PM, ozzfan1317 (72.62) wrote:

By keeping it illegal, either people will break the law and do it anyway, or they will drink instead.  Responsible people can enjoy either one in moderation. 


What was said above be responsible if your gonna do something to relax just stay home and don't drive. I feel both should be legal just imo.

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#30) On February 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM, truthisntstupid (82.82) wrote:

Thanks, Valy

And before anyone hastens to judge me and lecture me like I'm irresponsible, how about NOT purposely ignoring the fact that I stated that I haven't had a buzz of any kind in almost 20 years? 

Staying 100% legal frees me.  It frees me from all the problems I went over in comment #27. 

It also frees me to make my argument without giving hypocrites a leg to stand on.  How many people that would be against legalization of weed go home after a hard day and fish a couple (or three, or four...) beers from the fridge to unwind?

Friggin'  hypocrites.

 Let's see you go without your beer or your mixed drinks or whatever as long as I've gone without my preference.



Very true.  They should develop a way to test for intoxication, and figure out a threshhold above which to bust people for driving under the influence.   Nothing wrong with that. 

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#31) On February 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

I'm quite sure if they could find a way to accurately test an individual to determine the amount of THC in his/her blood at that time period, then major hurdles will have been crossed in legalizing the plant.  But, since THC is fat-soluble, it is extremely difficult to accurately test for use within a short time period, 3hrs ago, 20 mins ago etc.  All that can be determined is that THC is in the blood, but not when it got there. 

Alcohol, being water soluble, is by for easier to detect in the body.  If you can accurately test for it, then you can do studies to determine how much THC is allowable before one becomes a risk to society. 

So, if you know any biochemists out there and an entreprenuer or two, get them all together, start a pharma company and figure this out.  Then, the company has a patent that will create a moat for the company for years.

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#32) On February 15, 2011 at 3:49 PM, TheDumbMoney (75.13) wrote:

I'm all for legalizing the Weed.  Or making alcohol illegal.  Agree it makes no sense to have one legal and one not.  The same is true of cigarettes. 

I do think however that the bad effects of pot are minimized due to the fact that it is not legal, not as studied, not as documented, not as disapproved of by those who tend to focus on the negative effects of drugs.  Driving while seriously high is probably about as dangerous as driving drunk.  Also, I don't know who said people only smoke two joints a day, but I've known quite a few who smoke more, AND if it were legal, people would smoke even more.  So with all the carcinogens in the smoke it can get pretty bad for you too.  It messes with your brain, motivation, etc.  Alcohol is some bad stuff.

-- Former casual drinker, then regular drinker, now former alcoholic (now totally dry) who never smoked cigarettes and never smoked.

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#33) On February 16, 2011 at 12:22 AM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

What I am about to say is all past tense, as I quit smoking weed due to a variety of factors (job applications, working out more, money, etc)


I will say, and others may disagree, that driving while high is no where near as bad as driving drunk.  I got in my car to drive once when I was really drunk, backed up into the car behind me, realized how drunk I was, turned my car off and got out.

When I am high, I tend to drive better for the most part...I am more focused and cautious.  I normally speed (nothing too crazy) when I am sober but when I am high I like to obey the limits (not out of fear of being caught).  People have also told me I drive more smoothly while high.

If you are baked out of your mind yeah thats another story.  Could be a coincidence or not but from my experience people are less willing to drive when they are too high then when they are too drunk.  When they are too drunk they think they are fine.


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#34) On February 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM, SockMarket (34.07) wrote:


effects are still damaging, whether you use a bong, eat brownies, etc. the neurological effects are still bad: it will affect your memory long term and if you are a heavy user it can mess with your hippocamus and amygdala which is memory, and varying sets of instinctive actions as well as emotions.

Also just for the bong it strikes me that it is no different than saying hookah is better than cigarrettes, which is BS of course...

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#35) On February 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM, Valyooo (34.46) wrote:

The tar is not in your lungs if you eat brownies was my point. 

Bong is better than joints though.  A lot moe thc per smoke you inhale...its like taking one hit of a corn cob pipe versus smoking an entire cigarette.

P.S. I emailed you.

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