Why is Alcohol Legal but Weed Isn’t?
There have been many debates as to why alcohol is legally accepted worldwide yet cannabis is criminalized. Many individuals believe that both should be legalized and regulated, however, this has not yet been taken into consideration by lawmakers. Here are some key points explaining why alcohol may be legal while marijuana remains illegal.
Alcohol is an Age-Old Substance
Alcohol has been around for centuries and has been part of many cultures and civilizations over time. Alcohol has been used in religious ceremonies, and its impact on society has been accepted and regulated by governments. As a result, its usage is widely accepted and widespread.
Differing Ideas About Their Risks
There is a wide variety of opinions surrounding the potential risks of consuming either of the two substances. Cannabis is largely viewed as having more adverse effects, such as a significantly increased risk of addiction, psychosis and paranoia. On the other hand, alcohol is seen as having more subtle effects, such as higher levels of aggression.
Differing Views on Social Impact
The views on the social impact of alcohol and cannabis are also very different. Many people believe that alcohol use should be discouraged due to its role in social problems such as domestic and public violence. In contrast, cannabis is seen as relatively harmless and potentially beneficial for medical and recreational use.
Different Levels of Regulation and Control
The differences in how alcohol and cannabis are regulated are key reasons why one is legal while the other is illegal. Alcohol is heavily regulated and it is illegal to sell and consume alcohol to those under the age of 18. This isn’t the case with cannabis, which is illegal regardless of age. Additionally, laws related to the sale and use of cannabis are much more strictly enforced than those for alcohol.
The differences between alcohol and cannabis explain why one is legal and the other is not. While the legalization of cannabis has been a controversial topic for decades, there are still very valid reasons why it is illegal. For now, it seems that alcohol will remain legal while the debate over the legalization of cannabis continues.
4. How do people’s attitudes towards marijuana’s legal status differ by age and ethnicity?
Attitudes towards marijuana’s legal status vary widely by age and ethnicity. Generally, younger respondents tend to support its legalization more than older respondents, with a majority of those aged 18-29 in favor of legalization. Conversely, 45-64 year olds are the only age group with a majority of those opposed to legalization. Across age groups, white respondents more strongly support legalization than black and Hispanic respondents. The largest difference in opinion between ethnic groups is seen between black and white respondents: while approximately 60% of whites support full legalization, only 37% of black respondents agree. A larger percentage of Hispanic respondents support full legalization (48%) than black respondents, but still significantly less than white respondents.
These differences in opinion are largely driven by cultural norms, particularly among ethnic minority groups who have been disproportionately impacted by criminal justice policies relating to marijuana. Additionally, differences in opinion might reflect a generational gap between those who grew up in an era when marijuana was still largely illegal, and those who have seen its increased legalization in recent years.