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Racial Profiling

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Racial Profiling

Don’t Panic. It’s Organic.

There is no doubt that alcohol is America’s most popular and prominent drug. The sale and distribution has been legal since its early development. However, along with the social gratification of alcohol comes many dangerous effects and consequences. In contrast, marijuana, which has less severe and damaging effects and many medicinally beneficial qualities, has been outlawed by the American government. Although the utilization of both substances may lead to very detrimental side effects, it is unjustifiable to sanction the legalization of alcohol while simultaneously prohibiting the use of marijuana and its potentially beneficial qualities.

Alcohol, one of the world’s most widely used and addictive drugs, has been displaying its harmful affects to American society for hundreds of years. Since the end of the Prohibition Era of the late 1920s, various groups (such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union) have been battling for legislation banning the manufacture, distribution, and sale of this dangerous, but legal, substance. Although alcohol is a popular, gratifying and social drug, it does have very negative impacts on the American nation. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 19,358 alcohol-induced deaths in the United States in the year 2000, not including motor vehicle fatalities (United States). The substance has also been linked to many violent street crimes. In 2002, “48% of unintentional firearm fatality victims whose blood was tested for alcohol, tested positive” (Alcohol. . .). Alcohol also has many severe long-term effects. It may also disorder one’s brain, nervous system, liver, heart and circulatory system, reproductive system, urinary system, and digestive system, making the consumption of the drug extremely detrimental to a user’s health (Effects. . .). The drug’s short-term effects, which include impairing coordination and judgment and potentially triggering temporary amnesia, give rise to equally dangerous implications. These short-term effects of alcohol consumption have been linked to the four leading causes of teenage deaths: drunken driving, homicides, suicides, and drowning (Effects. . .). Because the consumption of the drug has become so commonly accepted in American culture, these side effects and consequences are sometimes drastically undermined.

Another dangerous substance that has grown increasingly popular in the United States is marijuana. Containing several of the same destructive qualities as alcohol, this substance is harder to detect than the former. The main ingredient in cannabis, THC, elicits many of the substance’s harmful side effects. THC disrupts the chemistry of the immune system, limiting the body’s abilities to ward-off viruses and bacteria (Effects of Smoking). It disrupts hormone production, interfering with women’s menstruation cycles and lowering testosterone levels in males. Smoking marijuana, like consuming alcohol, can inhibit short-term memory and reduce coordination levels. The drug has become so strong and powerful that it may take up to twenty-four hours to completely be released from the body (Effects of Smoking). Although marijuana does not have as many health risks as alcohol, it has been proven that one marijuana cigarette has three times as much tar as one tobacco cigarette and almost five times as much carboxyhemoglobin, resulting in more carbon monoxide in a user’s blood (Marijuana. . .). Like many other drugs filtering through today’s society, cannabis usage brings with it very scary and harmful side effects.

Both the consumption and usage of alcohol and cannabis are detrimental to one’s health. However, in recent years, researchers have performed studies to determine which substance is more harmful to the human body. Records show that alcohol kills a thousand times more people per year than all other drugs combined (Comparing. . .). In addition, cannabis usage has yet to create a high death toll, while alcohol can instigate death by “alcohol poisoning, asphyxiation, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac infarct” (Comparing. . .). Reports have also indicated that alcohol has more devastating effects on pregnancy than marijuana. Mothers who consume alcohol during their pregnancy often bare children who suffer from defects such as facial abnormalities, deformed ribs and sternum, organ deformities, heart murmurs, a curved spine and hip dislocations, limited movement of joints, and kidney and urinary deficiencies (If. . .). Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may also lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), or permanent damage to the infant’s brain, commonly generating mental retardation (If. . .). Evidence of detrimental effects on pregnancy due to cannabis use is questionable and vague. Because it is a strong depressant, heavy alcohol consumption can cause violent and psychotic

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