A little off topic than most questions here, but a physiological topic nonetheless. Now this topic has been debated for quite some time, and the government has taken the side of alcohol being less dangerous. Most kids, however, take the side of marijuana, saying weed is not as dangerous as alcohol. Amsterdam, on the flip side, doesn't care.
So let's get straight to the point. Which is more damaging, purely in terms of health? The intake of alcohol or the intake of marijuana?
Here are my views on the topic:
In nearly every town, regardless of size or race, there is some sort of bar or liquor store. Alcohol is ubiquitous. Wine is the beverage of choice in fine dining. Beer is the beverage of choice when you are "with the guys." When you go out to party, most don't ask for a cup of apple juice. They ask for a Jack and Coke. With its incredible exposure through Super Bowl commercials and brand labelling on every busy street corner, everyone knows about alcohol. On nearly every college campus and in every frat house (except BYU of course), there is some sort of alcohol, whether it be a keg or hard liquor. With that said, I think it's a cultural oddity that alcohol is so unanimously accepted, yet any other "substance" is strictly forbidden. In my mind, I see alcohol as a way to escape the daily grind. However, I also see it as a pure toxin. Your body cannot process alcohol into a usable substance. Every drop of alcohol you drink will eventually be pissed out. There are no positive effects of consuming alcohol (there is in wine, but that is due to the grapes, not the alcohol). Therefore, alcohol, especially hard liquor and beer, lacks any nutritional value whatsoever.
America's war on drugs. It's incredible how far the government will go to fight this war. Let's put it in perspective. If you rape someone, you maintain more government privileges than if you are caught with possession of marijuana. The laws on marijuana have little to do with the actual properties of the drug. That explains the policies that we now have. In fact, there have been no definitive studies that point towards marijuana being a purely harmful substance. Some hospitals have even used it for medicinal purposes. The addictiveness of marijuana is also purely mental. Unlike cocaine or heroine, you cannot be physically addicted to marijuana, making it far less dangerous than those. However, marijuana can be considered a gateway drug. And the fact that it can be addictive is a problem in and of itself (but so can alcohol). In addition, marijuana is mostly smoked, and the dangers of inhaling substances is already well documented.