Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mark Bittman has an opinion piece... the Times this morning, "The Drinker's Manifesto," in which he justifies excuses discusses his (excessive?) alcohol consumption. As a reformed drunk, I don't want to judge Mr. Bittman. But I would like to call everyone's attention to our hypocritical tendency to "enjoy" alcohol while at the same time condemning marijuana.

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.

We 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?

No comments: