If alcohol were under the same scrutiny for its health impact that marijuana continues to be, bars would not be allowed to exist. What we know about alcohol from impact studies shows it to be a public health crisis that continues year-after-year. Excessive alcohol use has been tied to heart disease, fatty liver, cirrhosis, depression, dementia and other life altering conditions. There are approximately 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths each year in the U.S. That is an average of six a day. Marijuana specialists in the know will be quick to remind you that cannabis is not considered lethal at any reasonable dose.
In both American and Canadian studies, about 40 percent of patients have shown to replace alcohol with marijuana use when given the option. The studies seem to foreshadow public choices in the marketplace. The Cannabis Consumer Group predicted that the beer industry alone would stand to lose $2 billion in annual sales if legal marijuana were available in all 50 states. Consumers of all ages may appreciate and benefit medicinal qualities of cannabis as a remedy for inflammation, chronic and neuropathic pain, GI issues, as well, as insomnia and a host of other conditions.
Large numbers of patients are ahead of the curve and have substituted their pharma meds for marijuana. Medicaid records have shown a substantial decrease in pharmaceutical reimbursements in states that have medical marijuana available. Though marijuana is not without risk, it’s tough to argue against an intoxicant that is exponentially safer than alcohol.
Frank T. Luciano has almost 40 years of experience in defending drug and DWI/DUI cases in Hackensack and elsewhere. He is also a lifetime member of the legal committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.