I can hear all of you boozers saying, “Just because I enjoy Scotch, it’s no sign that I am addicted.” Well, let’s face it Dude or Dudette, you are a drunk. You have a lot of company. Booze kills about as many as deep fried hamburgers (heart attacks) and is only slightly less lethal than tobacco. Are you listening?
The latest data that I could find on my computer from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in 2010 that alcohol killed about 40,000 people per year. While tobacco killed about 440,000. In this article, I am addressing alcohol, in a few days I will address tobacco more thoroughly.
According to Dr. Tod Mikuriya the world’s most outstanding expert and writer about marijuana, wrote about the first article comparing marijuana to alcohol.
His source was a British psychiatrist Dr. G Morris Carstairs who, in 1915, lived in a small village in Northern India. The inhabitants were Rajputs, who were warriors and governors, the others were Brahmins who were religious leaders, the warriors were alcohol drinkers.
The Brahmins drank bhang which is liquid marijuana. The Brahmins believed the use of bhang to be a flight to profound contact with reality. The reader knows what alcohol does.
While Dr. Mikuriya was in medical school about 1950, he discovered marijuana in pharmacology textbooks. He had mostly heard about it in college, and started studying the subject. He became the director of non-classified marijuana research at the National Institute of Mental Health Center for Narcotics and drug abuse studies in 1967, based in Washington DC.
Meanwhile, he was looking up marijuana information at the national Library of Medicine. He ended up self-publishing Marijuana Medical Papers 1839-1972 in 1972, which is the best book ever on the subject. He moved to Berkeley in 1970 and became acquainted with leaders in the legalization for marijuana movement.
He eventually interviewed about 2,000 medical marijuana users and found a significant number of patients (94) who had found that marijuana was much better and safer than alcohol.
In the process, he wrote outstanding articles about the marijuana-alcohol interface including Cannabis as Treatment for Alcoholism (1970), Cannabis Substitution for Harm Reduction (2001), and Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol (2004). And actually, dozens more articles in the marijuana newspaper, O’Shaunessey’s.
He is one of the most quoted authors on the subject of marijuana as medicine.
Other than Dr. Mikuriya, Dr. Edward Brecher wrote in the consumer’s Union Report on Illicit Drugs, Can Marijuana Replace Alcohol?
Dr. Mikuriya, about 1970, wrote about the 94 alcoholics in the Berkley-SanFrancisco area who had self converted to marijuana.
It is a travesty to try to abbreviate or condense Dr. Mikuriya’s work, but I will try:
Of the 94 patients after conversion to marijuana, 41 patients found it very effective and 38 found it to be effective.
For any drug to be effective 79 times out of 94, is truly outstanding.
Many current articles lump alcohol with drugs, both licit and illicit. Marijuana is better and safer than all of them.
By Dr. Phil Leveque Professor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com