When it comes to drugs, some are more dangerous than others. But while some dangerous drugs like alcohol are legal for people over the age of 21 to purchase in nearly every part of the country, others like medicinal marijuana are not. So why is alcohol perceived differently than medical cannabis? Read ahead to learn some shocking statistics regarding alcohol and its affects and why people should consider medical marijuana less harmful than society believes it to be.

beer cans alcohol

Cultural perception of alcohol and medical marijuana

While both products are considered drugs, customers can purchase alcohol at any bar, grocery and convenience chain along with liquor stores in America if they are over the legal drinking age. After the prohibition on alcohol ended in 1933, alcohol was made legal for recreational use throughout the nation. Medicinal marijuana on the other hand, is only legal in 20 states, with Washington and Colorado being the only places in the U.S. where it is legalized for recreational purposes. Oregon will join those two states after passing Measure 91 this past election to take effect July 1, 2015.

Looking at the annual statistics of deaths caused by both substances, alcohol was far more dangerous in terms of yearly fatalities. Nearly 37,000 people in the U.S. die each year from alcohol usage. Compare that to the zero deaths that were the result of medical marijuana usage across the nation. Additionally, alcohol’s toxicity makes it one of the most lethal drugs in the world. Using just ten times the average amount can lead to death, while medical marijuana has never led to a fatal overdose.

Effects on the body

Two of the worst conditions that cause harm to the human body are brain damage and cancer. Alcohol usage has been shown time and time again to cause both brain damage and a number of different cancers. Meanwhile, medical marijuana has been rumored to damage brain cells and cause lung cancer, but studies have actually shown this to be false.

Alcohol has been proven to increase risk-taking behavior, which greatly heightens the chance of causing injury to the consumer. With 21 percent of all injuries attributed to alcohol usage, medicinal cannabis is safer for patients and does not typically lead to self-harm, violence and domestic accidents in the way that alcohol does.

Medicinal marijuana has a social stigma attached to it while alcohol does not. But with laws around the nation changing the outlook of medical cannabis, that perception may be coming to an end in the near future.

For more information on medical marijuana strains in Portland, visit Shango today. Give us a call today at (502) 788-7005 or stop by one of our stores located at 8056 SE Harold Street or 6033 NE Win Sivers Dr. (located by the airport).

Photo by moleshko