The Reality of Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Cannabis

I read that over one in five people abstaining from alcohol in “dry January” say they are using alternative products, such as cannabis, to get through the month. Doesn’t that say something about the reality of people’s mental health needs?

Our forefathers drank like a fish. They believed alcohol could cure the sick and improve the world. Better to drink alcohol than water, where you could get dysentery and cholera. On average, people drank over 7 gallons of pure alcohol a year back in the day.

Vinepair recently released an article about alcohol consumption by country. It is the colder climates that drink the most. The US suggests two drinks a day or less for men and one for women. Chile and Australia tied for the most, recommending no more than four drinks daily for men and women.

The other evening we watched To Leslie, a film based on a woman who grew up and lives in West Texas and won $190K in the lottery. She soon pisses away all the money on alcohol and eventually finds herself on the streets. A good samaritan gives her a job, an opportunity, as a maid at a small motel. After 12 years of solid drinking, she hits rock bottom and goes sober.

Watching someone detox is not pretty, as they stop the poison in their system that has kept them going for a long time. Kicking cigarettes is not easy either. Kicking certain pharmaceutical products is hard too. Canada just announced new guidelines for alcohol consumption, warning that no amount is healthy, period.

Back to cannabis, my favorite topic these days. Cannabis addiction is rare, but not alcohol, cigarettes, or cocaine. Withdrawal is an entirely different topic. I have never met anyone addicted to weed, but plenty who smoke a lot but stopping can cause insomnia and moodiness for a few days. It doesn’t include tremors, throwing up, sweating, anxiety, and sometimes hallucinations and seizures like alcohol does. Cigarette withdrawal isn’t that pretty either, as it takes a few weeks of cravings, sleeping inability, weight gain, irritability, etc.

So why is cannabis a schedule one drug, but alcohol and cigarettes are not or never have?