What if you substituted "marijuana" for "alcohol" in Mr. Bittman's piece? Here are a few examples (my emphasis):
Life is complicated, but
drinking smoking marijuana itself... well, we do it because we like it. The point is that if we’re reasonably
responsible individuals, these are private matters whose consequences
are borne by ourselves.
drink smoke pot because we want to, not because it’s good for us. Whether you
believe that alcohol marijuana is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy
(a paraphrase of a quote usually attributed to Ben Franklin) or that
God has nothing to do with this, it’s clear that alcohol dope can bring both
joy and pain.
Of course there are people who really
drink smoke too much, and we should
continue to discourage overconsumption, but once again when it comes to
public health we fail to prioritize correctly.
I'll say. Bittman goes on to note:
The C.D.C. says that excessive alcohol consumption causes 88,000 deaths a year and “costs the economy about $224 billion.”
I wonder how many people die from smoking pot each year. Could marijuana possibly cause as much damage as alcohol? I doubt it. So why is one socially acceptable while the other is illegal? Does that make sense?