By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)
Drug laws are weirdly inconsistent in America. Marijuana is illegal, yet alcohol is legal and it’s effects are worse on the human body. Alcohol has been grandfathered in. It’s existence outdates our country’s founding and all of our peer countries have legalized it as well. Marijuana, because it was introduced in the late 19th century was made illegal with the public at large not knowing of it’s effects.
The effects of that decision are still felt today. A large number of Americans don’t know what the effects of marijuana are, and because of that wild rumors about marijuana become more believable. The same cannot be said for alcohol. I have no idea what the percentage of Americans who have gotten drunk is, but it is fairly large. It’s so large that even those who’ve never touched alcohol know the effects when they see them. Myths about alcohol can’t exist in America, because everybody’s drinking.
So I recently read an article about alcohol being marketed to children and one quote stuck out to me. A spokesperson for CAMY (The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth) said that:
“Alcohol is responsible for 4,700 deaths per year among young people under the age of 21, and is associated with the three leading causes of death among youth: motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide.”
Putting alcohol’s effects on car crashes right next to homicide and suicide is insane. The organization is just trying to attach those two tragedies to alcohol for shock value and to support their point. It’s obvious what alcohol does to a driver. It can make a good driver into a bad driver. But anyone who takes their life or someone else’s has very deep problems; alcohol is at best a catalyst. What causes homicide and suicide is childhood trauma and poor parenting.
Luckily for us, alcohol has so much exposure a distortion of facts like that just can’t be effectively used.