The Great College Kid Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana

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Ryan A
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Post by Ryan A » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:40 pm

Not to start a bigger argument but I thought I would chime in some ideas on all drugs.

Now before I do that, as has been discussed many times here, there is really no such thing as a dangerous exercise in the weightlifting world. Almost all have a place if done properly and with proper precautions.

In some ways the same is true for drugs. I am not one to infringe upon people's right to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't infringe upon my rights.

Guns are another contraversial thing. Guns, for the most part, kill things and can be very dangerous even in the hands of people who handle them properly because freak accidents with such devices have a high chance of huge consequences.

The problem with drugs is, as you take them, they affect your ability to make a choice to stop using them. This leads to all kinds of problems with first time users getting into experiences they dont know how to handle, and the drugs keep them from handling it the right way.

Legalizing drugs (all drugs) would benefit users in some ways because it could be regulated and it would reduce temptation to do something just because you arent supposed to (look at prohibition, it made the problem worse). As long as users kept to themselves and did the drugs in their home, it really wouldnt bother anyone. The problem arises (eg drunk driving) when these impaired people do things they are no longer capable of doing and hurt some innocent citizen. That is a big risk. Another problem is that now there are more things people can become legally addicted to and therefore more government help for these people would be requested/required. Honestly though, this might save more money in the long run than the war on drugs. IN fact, the additional money could probably help all manner of mental diseases (although I am sure it would not be used that way but that is another debate).

Just my take.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:16 pm

There's something you may not be considering. It's extremely difficult for a hard drug user to function in society. Sooner or later he's going to lose his job and likely to end up turning to theft, burgulary, robbery or even prostetution to support his habit.

PS.) Firearms accidents due to mechanical problems are very rare, and usually involve bad gunsmithing (or do it yourself tinkering). The vast majority of firearms accidents are due to human error, either because someone didn't know how to properly handle a gun, or perhaps more often because they simply got careless about safety.

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Post by Ryan A » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:10 pm

There are already laws in place to deal with theft burglary yada yada.

I was referring to human error with guns.

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Post by VoK » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:01 am

RyanA,

Interesting point. The legalization of drugs makes much sense in terms of economic advantages. First off, we can cut spending on the war against marijuana. No more expensive cop raids on homes to find teenagers with a bag of weed. More importantly, it will cut down on arrests. Simply put, it costs a GREAT deal of money to maintain prisoners. And with Amerca's prisons being overcrowded as it is, this could only help. But back to more economic advantages. Supply and Demand folks. When a substance is difficult to find and there is great demand for it, its price will skyrocket, as is the deal with most drugs. Cut one or both, and the price will drop. The legalization of drugs allows supply to shoot upwards as it is now much easier to get a hold of substances, thereby making it more available. Throw in a heavy government taxation on marijuana to match the current market price and you have a VERY hefty sum of money. As in the government making some money from drugs.

Wait, I didn't just say that, right? That's the EXACT problem as to why it is difficult to legalize drugs. Government involvement in drugs is a touchy subject. I personally would not want my government to be making money off of drugs. It's a moral issue.

Well maybe the government shouldn't tax marijuana. Then we will have to endure a grace period of marijuana being at incredibly low prices with huge demand because now, almost anyone and their grandma can get a hold of the good stuff. Who knows if it is a trend that catches on? Will it go away? How long will it take?

Taken from a non-governmental standpoint, the legalization of marijuana makes perfect sense. Same goes for the unsubsidization of corn (another great topic I'll post about later) and taking away the price floors of New York apartments. But these things are only things we can dream of. Change in politics is a slow and gradual process that takes generations. We can wish for it to happen, but I'll be willing to bet that all this stuff never changes in my lifetime.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:12 am

Well, I'm a libertarian so I am very much in favor of legalizing.creating a black market only funds gangs so they can buy illegal weapons stolen or smuggled in from other countries. They wage war on each other for control of the money.

I was a daily pot smoker in my teens. I quit a long time ago though. The actual dealers are either average people you wouldn't suspect or old hippies out in EBF. It is the suppliers, the guys that sell by the pound, that also have harder drugs. That's been my experience anyway.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:21 am

I think it's a lot easier to make a case for legalizing marijuana than it is for harder drugs. Also, if marijuana were legalized and taxed, the money could be reinvested in things like drug rehab programs and the war on drugs. Meanwhile, the public might be somewhat more supportive of the war on drugs, since the efforts of law enforcement would be focused solely on hard drugs.

PS.) My wife used to date a small time drug dealer who sold both marijuana and ecstacy. He also used both marijuana and ecstacy, so dealing was like a second job to support his habits. I think this sort of thing is pretty common.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:17 am

Of course, all the drugs he was taking were already starting to take a toll when I knew him. By age 20 he could barely get an erection, which brings to mind a good premise for an anti-drug commercial. :-)

This is your penis. ... This is your penis on drugs.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:15 am

As far as I know, he's a complete burnout now, which is a shame, since he was a reasonably nice guy (aside from selling poison to children).

And no, I wouldn't consider him a dangerous criminal, but the guys who supplied him definitely were.

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Post by TeeBee » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:31 am

Was the original question, "Will alcohol and pot affect my weight training?"

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:34 am

I think the original quiestion was which is worse.

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Post by DubDub » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:36 pm

I can say that I have seen both being consumed, and in fact consumed alcohol myself. I will never use weed. Period. So I must side with alcohol being the safer choice. This is mostly based on the possibilty of psychological addiction to weed, as well as it being smoked (affecting the lungs directly).

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Post by TeeBee » Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:29 pm

You don't need either, so the question of which one is worse for you is moot. A sweet potato is "better" for you than a regular potato because it has more nutrients--period. If you want to blow off some steam after a hard week at work with some pot or a drink, go ahead--just don't think you're doing your body any good (your head is another matter). I guess it's the equivalent of comfort food. And there's no scale in the world which says "1 oz. alcohol = 10 g pot" or whatever. So use either sparingly.

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Post by Dave X » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:36 pm

DubDub wrote:I can say that I have seen both being consumed, and in fact consumed alcohol myself. I will never use weed. Period. So I must side with alcohol being the safer choice. This is mostly based on the possibilty of psychological addiction to weed, as well as it being smoked (affecting the lungs directly).
Addiction to alcohol is worse, as one can be psychologically and physically addicted to alcohol, and those addicted really strongly can even die from abrupt quitting, due to the extreme effects of their withdrawl.

That being said I don't know if one drug of the other is significantly "more addicting" in the way that a substance like heroin is.

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Post by VoK » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:26 am

Dave X wrote:
DubDub wrote:I can say that I have seen both being consumed, and in fact consumed alcohol myself. I will never use weed. Period. So I must side with alcohol being the safer choice. This is mostly based on the possibilty of psychological addiction to weed, as well as it being smoked (affecting the lungs directly).
Addiction to alcohol is worse, as one can be psychologically and physically addicted to alcohol, and those addicted really strongly can even die from abrupt quitting, due to the extreme effects of their withdrawl.

That being said I don't know if one drug of the other is significantly "more addicting" in the way that a substance like heroin is.
You are right in your statements, but I want to clarify something.

Physical addiction (a.k.a., dependence) involves the physical adaptation of a person's biological systems to the continuous presence of alcohol. The person's systems become more comfortable with the typical level of alcohol and higher doses are required to maintain an equivalent effect. A decrease in the level of alcohol causes reverse imbalances resulting in withdrawal symptoms, which for alcohol can be deadly.

Neurochemical addiction involves the hijacking of existing learning mechanisms in order to convince the system that an addictive behavior is good for it, despite all evidence to the contrary. Endorphin is the body's way of telling the mind that a behavior is good for it. We release endorphin into the blood stream during sex, exercise and consumption of some foods for instance, and this is responsible for "runner's high" and "afterglow". This is more than just a good feeling, it is teaching our brain that these are the behaviors that it should repeat. It has been demonstrated in various clinical tests that mammals with more active endorphin systems are more prone to alcohol addiction. This is because alcohol triggers the release of endorphins into our system, and we learn that alcohol drinking is a behavior that we should repeat. This effect is also visible in the use of opiates, and in various risk-taking behaviors such as skydiving and gambling.

This does not happen with marijuana. Though you can get addicted to marijuana, some would argue that it is "safer" to be addicted to marijuana than to be addicted to alcohol.

(note: information taken from wikipedia.com from alcoholism article)

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Post by Mog16 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:42 pm

I really dislike the presentation of the 'gateway drug' argument used with regards to pot. In my experience alcohol is actually the base of the pyramid when you look at drug usage. I attended a highschool where a large number of students (who also happened to be the most talented athletes) got involved with heavy drugs (meth, crack, cocaine, lsd...list goes on) and I would say that 90-100% of them started their 'partying' with alcohol and then progressed to a number of different things.

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