August 30, 2009 – The United States is torn on whether or not marijuana is harmful or actually could be used for a healing intervention. There are many studies, articles, and marijuana_alcoholdoctor’s perspectives on this issue. But, what are the true facts?

According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, Fifty-one percent (51%) of American adults say alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, and just 19% think pot is worse. 25% believe both substances are dangerous. Just two percent (2%) say neither is harmful.

An online article on Saferchoice.org, “Marijuana vs Alcohol,” provides readers with evidence that alcohol is potentially more harmful and addictive than marijuana. A few reasons being:

1. “There are hundreds of alcohol overdose deaths each year, yet there has never been a marijuana overdose death in history.”

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, in 2001 there were 331 recorded alcohol overdose related deaths and 0 deaths dealing with marijuana overdose. The CDC also recorded 20,687 alcohol generated deaths in 2003; where as, there were no records of marijuana induced deaths.

2. “Alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs, and using just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect can lead to death. Marijuana is one of – if not the – least toxic drugs, requiring thousands times the dose one would use to get the desired effect to lead to death.”

Dr. Leslie Iverson, Oxford University, found in his book, “The Science of Marijuana” that marijuana is a naturally “safe drug” which cannot lead to infertility, brain damage, cancer, or mental illness. He thinks that the legalization of the drug for medicinal purposes should be contemplated.

3. “Long-term marijuana use is far less harmful than long-term alcohol use.”

Drugpolicy.org notes, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage or mental illness in either teenagers or adults. Some marijuana users experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion, which may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary. With very large doses, marijuana can cause temporary toxic psychosis. This occurs rarely, and almost always when marijuana is eaten rather than smoked. Marijuana does not cause profound changes in people’s behavior.”

However, an article published last year by Reuters, provides evidence from Australian researchers that “Long-term heavy use of marijuana may cause two important brain structures to shrink.” They came to this hypothesis by conducting brain scans on men and women. Those who had smoked marijuana for five or more years showed smaller hippocampuses (portion of the brain that regulates memory) and amygdalas (section of the brain that deals with fear and aggression) than nonusers.

Marijuana has been a hotly debated issue for years and it will continue to be; but, one thing is certain, anything used in excess is called an addiction. We must think of the body as a pure and clean vessel. It is important that one uses wise judgment when putting any foreign substance into the body. By Kimberly Willingham. Source.

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