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Marijuana vs Alcohol: The Great Debate

by Richard

There’s long been a debate between what’s worse, alcohol or marijuana and it’s a debate that feels pretty pointless given the fact they are both addictive and both can cause serious health problems.

Alcohol addiction is becoming increasingly prominent in society and the debate is once again gaining momentum, especially when many countries around world are now legalising marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

So, once again, we enter the great debate and pull together our thoughts on the subject, by looking at different elements of them…


In both cases, consuming both substances are rarely life-threatening in the short term. However, when it comes to alcohol there are circumstances when it can be. 

Each year there are around 88,000 alcohol-related overdoses in the USA, with binge drinking making up around half of those. 

However, a fatal overdose of marijuana would require between 15 and 70 grams of the substance. To put that into context, that’s between 238 and 1,113 joints in a day.


It’s advised that a pregnant woman shouldn’t take either substances and the facts around drinking while pregnant are well known.

However, it may not be safe to consume marijuana either. Studies have shown a correlation between mothers who consume cannabis and low birth weight, which can have complications on a child’s life.


Statistically, you are more likely to be a risk when intoxicated by alcohol than marijuana, but even so the risks for both are significantly higher.

There’s an 83% higher chance you’ll be involved in an accident while under the influence of marijuana. Which is incredibly high! 

Alcohol is much higher, but it is very much a case of don’t get behind the wheel when you’ve had either!

Learning and Memory

Many people have been drinking and do not remember what happened the night before. Alcohol can cause “the blackout”, while those who smoke marijuana are at a higher risk of developing learning and memory problems in later life according to studies.

There are also connections with psychosis when it comes to weed, although it’s not completely confirmed and there are still controversies around this topic.

Health Risks

Both have both short term and long term health risks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Life-threatening diseases can be developed due to abuse of the substances, with oral cancer one of the most lethal health concerns for both. 

However, liver disease (alcohol) and bad oral hygiene are also big risks among both, as well as the likes of nausea and paranoia with marijuana. 

Ultimately, neither are good for you, and it isn’t particularly a good idea to compare one another in order to justify the consumption of them. 

Know the risks of both, and take them on their own merit. 

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