Why is Alcohol legal, but Cannabis isn't ?

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username3895014
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As the title says really. What's your opinion?
I do truly believe that alcohol has more consequences than weed. I don't drink, or do drugs so i guess I'm not really one to decide, but for the people that do, what do you think ?
I know that cannabis and CBD oil has many benefits.
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CoolCavy
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Moved to Society
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username917703
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Alcohol is worse in pretty much every way and especially if abused.
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username1221160
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The British electorate, particulatly conservatives, prefer letting the state decide what they can put in their bodies, so wouldn't elect a party that had a more liberal attitude to recreational drugs.
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Dheorl
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Both cause as many problems as each other, alcohol simply has a wider spread historical use.
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jdddd
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(Original post by Ikhan1)
As the title says really. What's your opinion?
I do truly believe that alcohol has more consequences than weed. I don't drink, or do drugs so i guess I'm not really one to decide, but for the people that do, what do you think ?
I know that cannabis and CBD oil has many benefits.
Cannabis is in the process of being legalised for medicinal use. As for recreational use I don't think there was enough, proven studies for cannabis showing its effects, so as more studies come out Governments have more knowledge about the drug, as for alcohol its been legal since Law started so they aren't going to ban it are they? Also alcohol is only legal to an extent, if you get too drunk, drink in an area you aren't supposed to be drinking, creating problems, then you will be arrested for being drunk and disorderly, alcohol is supposed to be drunk in small quantities, but is given a bad name cause people drink excessively.
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vidda
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(Original post by Ikhan1)
As the title says really. What's your opinion?
I do truly believe that alcohol has more consequences than weed. I don't drink, or do drugs so i guess I'm not really one to decide, but for the people that do, what do you think ?
I know that cannabis and CBD oil has many benefits.
It hasn't got anything to do if it is beneficial or not. If that was the case then smoking would be banned. So we can eliminate that as a reason.

UK companies are world renowned for the beer and spirits they produce. Banning alcohol would endanger those jobs. A total ban on alcohol would mean a massive taxation opportunity would be lost. Historically alcohol has always been around, often replacing water as it was cleaner before water sanitation was common place. Historically we were not culturally exposed to Cannabis. The black market is already firmly established for Cannabis, even if it was legalised there would still be a market for cheaper alternatives.

After WWII, European nations were rebuilding and the US was largely unaffected. Whilst Europe was still in recovery, the US was booming. As we all know, people's attitudes to other races back then weren't as liberal as we are today. Marijuana was seen as the black mans drug. Countries which idealised America as the new ideal to rebuild towards and they adopted many US policies.

You also need to ask the question, do the benefits outweigh the risks?

In the case of CBD oil, it can work wonders for people with catatonic epilepsy. That is brilliant, we should consider allowed the use of CBD as a mainstream treatment in cases such as this because it really outweighs the risk vs reward.

Should we legalise herbal cannabis? Should people with no reason to have it be allowed to consume it? Again, it depends on which line of thinking you follow. Conservative parties, like Tories will not want to legalise it, they need to appeal to a voter base who was brought up with the well known "drugs are bad" agenda. Perhaps other parties would need to enact other meaningful policies alongside newer policies to sway the fringe voters.


I personally see no real benefit to legalising the recreational use of marijuana but I would be behind the medical laws being less restrictive. I would like to see decriminalisation for using cannabis, even though it is de facto legal anyway with the caution system. Overall it isn't indicative of a person who is a criminal, if they smoke weed or not. I would like to see drug dealers face harsher sentences than they currently have.
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HighOnGoofballs
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(Original post by Sulfolobus)
The British electorate, particulatly conservatives, prefer letting the state decide what they can put in their bodies, so wouldn't elect a party that had a more liberal attitude to recreational drugs.
...you do realise Conservatives generally are opposed to that. Ideologically speaking.

In theory, legalising drugs is actually a very Conservative policy. It's only because the Conservatives in this country are so damn old and hold negative attitudes towards drugs - which is why the Conservative Party doesn't support legalisation - it would lose them votes (probably).
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huncho jack
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(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
...you do realise Conservatives generally are opposed to that. Ideologically speaking.

In theory, legalising drugs is actually a very Conservative policy. It's only because the Conservatives in this country are so damn old and hold negative attitudes towards drugs - which is why the Conservative Party doesn't support legalisation - it would lose them votes (probably).
LOOOOOOL stop you're going to kill me. Legalising drugs is not a conservative policy at all

My god, the things you'll read on the internet...
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Scottish15
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Cannabis lowers your IQ and drugs are an overall sign of weakness in someone. Someone who smokes cannabis is like someone who takes heroin I treat drugs the same and people who use them are wasting their lives.
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UDZ
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Old people with old views. I guarantee you that once the generation >60 years old all die, then the overwhelming majority will be in favour of cannabis legalisation. Not to say there aren't any liberal old people -- my grandma is Dutch and she thinks it's ridiculous that it isn't legal here even though she wouldn't do it herself.
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pjrodarte339
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my question exactly. the socioeconomic effects alcohol has had on our society far outweigh those of cannabis. IMO both should be legal, there's no real evidence that cannabis is more harmful than alcohol
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HighOnGoofballs
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(Original post by vidda)
UK companies are world renowned for the beer and spirits they produce. Banning alcohol would endanger those jobs. A total ban on alcohol would mean a massive taxation opportunity would be lost. Historically alcohol has always been around, often replacing water as it was cleaner before water sanitation was commonplace. Historically we were not culturally exposed to Cannabis. The black market is already firmly established for Cannabis, even if it was legalised there would still be a market for cheaper alternatives.
I was agreeing with everything you said until the last sentence. That is simply false. A black market is defined as an illegal traffic or trade in officially controlled or scarce commodities.

IF Cannabis is legalised, it would no longer be a scarce commodity. Businesses would leap at the opportunity to make profits, and if the market is allowed to be relatively free, you would see prices absolutely pummel down. Remember, when you make something illegal, it reduces the supply, even though the demand stays the same. This means goods become more expensive - ie. black markets, through no inherent fault of their own, will ALWAYS be MORE expensive than their legal counterparts. I mean, you can see it today - idk if you've ever bought weed or coke, but it's very expensive.

(Original post by vidda)
I personally see no real benefit to legalising the recreational use of marijuana but I would be behind the medical laws being less restrictive. I would like to see decriminalisation for using cannabis, even though it is de facto legal anyway with the caution system. Overall it isn't indicative of a person who is a criminal, if they smoke weed or not. I would like to see drug dealers face harsher sentences than they currently have.
Again, agreed with mostly everything until this point. You stated that the debate:

'It hasn't got anything to do if it is beneficial or not. If that was the case then smoking would be banned. So we can eliminate that as a reason'

But then you go into the say that there is no benefit in legalising Marijuana? Aside from the fact that there are obvious MORAL e.g the government shouldn't dictate what I choose to put into my body... ECONOMIC e.g. revenue earned of tax and POLITICAL e.g. more younger voters to whatever party pioneers the charge, benefits (meaning that statement, imo, is false) the statement also is inconsistent ie. the debate has got nothing to do with it being beneficial.
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HoldThisL
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People suggesting illegal drugs be decriminalised because of alcohol suggest, to me, that alcohol should be banned, not the other way round.

I wouldn't actually legislate against either, I believe in freedom, but I think anyone taking either in a significant quantity is
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vidda
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(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
black markets, through no inherent fault of their own, will ALWAYS be MORE expensive than their legal counterparts.
I can certainly see the merit to your argument. What is your opinion on the black market trade of Tobacco? It is a market costing over £2 billion in avoided taxes. Tobacco and their products are legal in the UK, yet the taxes imposed make black markets like these prosper. You could buy a 20 pack for £4-5 on the black market, against £10 for the same product through legal means. Indeed it is so damaging to legitimate trade BAT have worked with the WHO to combat it.
I suppose we have looked at different definitions of the word black market, I used the one from Wikipedia and Webster, I see you used the Oxford definition which is US English, so I suppose our semantics will have obvious differences as a result.

As we can see from the US market for Cannabis since legalisation the prices did indeed drop the market prices overall. Will that apply to the United Kingdom?




I personally don't agree with the logic that governments shouldn't dictate what we put in our bodies. Governments make informed decisions all the time about what they believe is okay for consumption for their citizens. This includes making sure we do not import meats from markets which do not have the same QA and testing we expect in this country. It is in the governments interest to make sure their citizens are fit and healthy, providing healthy school meals for example was clearly stating that food stuffs with dangerous levels of saturated fats and poor nutrients wasn't beneficial. Products with cause cancer, colourants such as Sunset Yellow were banned because of the negatives. People wish to shove needles in their arms and inject heroin, the government has to foot the bill for their healthcare, I'd say that they're more than justified in stopping people doing what they want. What we want is often not in our best interests. However that is my opinion and I can see the validity of the counter arguments, I just don't agree with them completely.


'It hasn't got anything to do if it is beneficial or not. If that was the case then smoking would be banned. So we can eliminate that as a reason' - I was more gearing that towards to official line of thought on addressing OP's question, rather than my own opinion. I should've made that clearer.

Yes, I did say I don't see any benefit to the recreational use of marijuana being legalised. I am talking about tangible benefits to which I would be able to present to someone which would be able to convince them to do so. I would be able to say that taxation on it would be beneficial, but I wouldn't be confident in saying that it wouldn't cost more money to the health service in trying to deal with potential problems that arise from recreational use of Cannabis.

Platitudes about morality regarding it aren't enough to convince law makers to change their opinion. Usually concrete evidence is needed as a bare minimum.


It is an interesting topic which has so many facets. It is always nice to see other sides of an argument that I haven't necessarily explored before, so please do deconstruct what I say. Thank you for helping me develop a better view on it
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HighOnGoofballs
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(Original post by vidda)
I can certainly see the merit to your argument. What is your opinion on the black market trade of Tobacco? It is a market costing over £2 billion in avoided taxes. Tobacco and their products are legal in the UK, yet the taxes imposed make black markets like these prosper. You could buy a 20 pack for £4-5 on the black market, against £10 for the same product through legal means.
(Original post by vidda)
As we can see from the US market for Cannabis since legalisation the prices did indeed drop the market prices overall. Will that apply to the United Kingdom?
I think in my previous comment, I emphasised (albeit indirectly) that prices would only go down in a relatively free market. The tobacco industry is very far from a ‘free market’. By this I mean that there is not much competition – the market is dominated by 5 of so companies which are Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International, and China Tobacco. All these monopolies, as with all monopolies, are only able to dominate the market because the government want them to – it’s convenient and increase the government profits. Politicians hold stocks in some of these companies and lobbying to get these companies to the top fills their pockets. China Tobacco is effectively government controlled so that has an unfair advantage and can dominate. Japan tobacco is effectively government controlled so that has an unfair advantage and can dominate. Philip Morris regularly gets billions from both the UK and USA governments as goes for British American Tobacco.

What I’m trying to get at here is – the tobacco industry, much like most industries, is not a free market and is in fact dominated by large TNCs. As a result, these companies can set prices however high they like because there is no threat from competition, other than the black market – which is somewhat of a threat, but no powerful enough to topple these gigantic corporations.

In a true, or relatively free market, you would see these giant companies having to reduce their profits to keep up with smaller competition – remember, in a free market they wouldn’t be able to lobby against the government to drive small competition out – and as a result prices would sharply decline. You would see hundreds if not thousands of tobacco companies trying to get a slice of the pie, each on undercutting the other until prices would be at an all time low. That’s the ideal situation and that’s the situation that us ‘greedy’ libertarians would love to see – for prices to be cheap and the consumer to have choice. This would also be exacerbated by the fact that libertarians would love to see tariffs removed to allow foreign competition to invest.

Therefore, the prices didn’t drop and this is why the legal prices are higher than black market prices – government backed monopolies.

(Original post by vidda)
I personally don't agree with the logic that governments shouldn't dictate what we put in our bodies. Governments make informed decisions all the time about what they believe is okay for consumption for their citizens.
The problem with this is the word ‘informed’. Many decisions governments make are far from informed. You think the Iraq War was ‘informed’? You think Jim Crow laws were ‘informed’? And moreover, what are the underlying implications of such a thought process? If the government, the benevolent government truly knows what is best – truly knows what is okay and what is not okay for its citizens, do you support a strict national diet? In which the government dictates what we can eat and what we can’t? What is the government bans chocolate because its unhealthy? That is the logical conclusion from such thinking? Or do we have to draw the line somewhere? Burgers? Omelettes – are they okay?

I hope that didn’t come off as condescending, I wasn’t trying to be, but what I’m getting at here is – no – the government doesn’t know what is best for me. Kurt Cobain lived a wild life filled with drugs and cigarettes and alcohol – but who other than Kurt Cobain himself can truly say that it was a wasted life. Maybe he wanted to live that way. Maybe he didn’t – I certainly don’t, but I’m sure he would not have wanted to live like me either. By this I simply mean to illustrate that the individual is the one who knows what is best for the individual. Do I know how to spend my money better or does the government? Do I know what I want to eat or does the government? Do I know where I want to go or does the government? People can of course advice as guide me but forcing someone to do something that they may or may not want to do is morally regressive imo.

(Original post by vidda)
It is in the governments interest to make sure their citizens are fit and healthy, providing healthy school meals for example was clearly stating that food stuffs with dangerous levels of saturated fats and poor nutrients wasn't beneficial.
What is in the governments interest is not always in mine or your interest.

(Original post by vidda)
People wish to shove needles in their arms and inject heroin, the government has to foot the bill for their healthcare, I'd say that they're more than justified in stopping people doing what they want. What we want is often not in our best interests. However that is my opinion and I can see the validity of the counter arguments, I just don't agree with them completely.
By government, I think you mean taxpayer. And, if people do shove needles into their arm, let them, but I don’t think the taxpayer should foot the bill. This comes back to the whole point about nobody knows what is best for someone other than themselves.

I would love to carry on addressing each point you made, but im afraid this comment is so long, and as you rightly pointed out, this debate is such a massive one leading to so many different avenues, so I’m going to stop here for this comment. Apologies if I didn’t address everything.

But yeh, in conclusion, tobacco industry isn’t a free market. An individual knows what’s best for himself and it isn’t morally right to force them with the threat of violence into doing something that they may or may not want to do.

Thank you for being so civil btw, this is really refreshing.
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vidda
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(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
Thank you for being so civil btw, this is really refreshing.
Thank you for taking your time to explain your point of view to me and giving me new avenues to explore. I really do not have all the answers for this discussion and if someone did then we wouldn't be needing to discuss it.

You've given me a lot of points to ruminate on, I don't quite have an explanation yet to some of the deeper questions you pose. I suppose I'll need to do a great deal more reading

We are all here to learn and we can all learn from one another, always best to be civil
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)

I would love to carry on addressing each point you made, but im afraid this comment is so long, and as you rightly pointed out, this debate is such a massive one leading to so many different avenues, so I’m going to stop here for this comment. Apologies if I didn’t address everything.

But yeh, in conclusion, tobacco industry isn’t a free market. An individual knows what’s best for himself and it isn’t morally right to force them with the threat of violence into doing something that they may or may not want to do.

Thank you for being so civil btw, this is really refreshing.
(Original post by vidda)
Thank you for taking your time to explain your point of view to me and giving me new avenues to explore. I really do not have all the answers for this discussion and if someone did then we wouldn't be needing to discuss it.

You've given me a lot of points to ruminate on, I don't quite have an explanation yet to some of the deeper questions you pose. I suppose I'll need to do a great deal more reading

We are all here to learn and we can all learn from one another, always best to be civil
Chalk up a win for reason, understanding, and communication. You guys have made my day!
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Abcdefghijk123
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I think that cannabis isn’t worse than alcohol (as many people seem to think). It can make you a bit lazier but it’s a nice way to pass the time. People smoking weed don’t tend to have the tendency to become aggressive when high, whereas some drunks start fights/say horrible things/cheat on their partners. Weed just makes you forgetful and do some dumb things like putting your phone in the fridge and trying to call your grandma using a milk carton.

However, as with everything, moderation is key. If someone is constantly abandoning their responsibilities or flaking on family members/friends to smoke weed instead, it becomes a problem. I didn’t like it when my boyfriend was constantly high; being with a stoned person when you’re sober is sometimes funny, other times just tedious. The scary thing about weed is that your whole day can pass while you’re high, and you aren’t always aware. It gets in the way of being productive sometimes.

I’m not sure why alcohol is legal and weed isn’t, they’re very similar. I think because alcohol has always been produced and we’ve had it for centuries. The government can’t suddenly turn round and be like ‘okay alcohol is no longer legalised’.
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OmarTheFrenchFry
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(Original post by Ikhan1)
As the title says really. What's your opinion?
I do truly believe that alcohol has more consequences than weed. I don't drink, or do drugs so i guess I'm not really one to decide, but for the people that do, what do you think ?
I know that cannabis and CBD oil has many benefits.
I agree with you, I think its because wine has always been part of european culture but weed is a new thing, smoking is part of european culture as well so its very hard to make it illegal it also make money.
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