An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Why is Alcohol Legal?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by sarahm, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Contributor

    Looking at the replies in this thread tells me that many, many people are unaware of the history of alcohol prohibition in America. From 1920 to 1933 production and consumption of alcoholic beverages was forbidden in America by Constitutional amendment 18, repealed by amendment 21. This period created organized crime in America, and resulted in many social problems. There are different opinions about how much of a disaster this social experiment was, but most historians agree that it was a disaster. Marijuana prohibition only came into being after alcohol prohibition was repealed, partly because the officials who had been in charge of enforcing alcohol prohibition needed a new job. Many former moonshiners welcomed marijuana prohibition since it also created new jobs for them.
  2. Ronsa

    Ronsa Active Contributor

    It is sad to know that money can have such influence on the legality of addictive substance such as alcohol or cigarettes regardless there is scientific proof of their hazards to us. We can only hope that the youth are protected from getting access to them before they can understand what alcohol and cigarettes are.
  3. bestuvwutsard

    bestuvwutsard Member

    Politics and economics are such a strong influence in how we judge most things. The means by which we choose to intoxicate ourselves is no different. Comedian Chris rock gave a very interesting assessment of just what the problem is with the legalization of certain drugs. During one of his stand-up routines he said, quite succinctly, that the reason for cocaine and marijuana being legal is the fact that it is naturally produced in abundance mainly in brown and black countries. He believes that if not for that fact, these drugs would be sold legally at Toys R Us with no issues at all. There is too much money, and therefore too much power, in letting such countries into the realm of such power. Whether yo agree or not with his opinion it gives you something to think about.
    What rationale could honestly be made to justify alcohol is less dangerous or detrimental than any of the illegal drugs? Legalization allows for social acceptance of alcohol that does not benefit anyone besides big money. Making marijuana and cocaine illegal makes me feel like we learn nothing from the lessons of the passed. Forcing these trades underground only attaches a stigma to engaging in the trade; it does nothing to eliminate the trade itself- just like during prohibition. Prohibition stopped nothing then or now. And it never will. It just changes the means by which we access what we want. On top of that the government gets no benefits of the price f doing business- really big business.
    And it is quite pretentious for anyone to act as though its a moral issue. With so many people addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol because the government arbitrarily decides to accept their taxes, I can only say that it is time for legalization. Pay down a lot of the American debt. Decriminalization will save jail time and space for people who are bad and not ones who want to get high. It will also open the door a more regulatory system that can possible benefit people rather than destroy lives.
    At the very least, I wish whatever the law is or isn't, it would be consistent. If cocaine and marijuana are illegal, then make alcohol illegal too.
  4. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think if marijuana is legal, there will be more cases of death related to this substance than what was on the statistics/record now.
    In regards to alcohol, it will be helpful if there will be strict rules o buying it like nothing more than certain amount can be bought and only on specific areas it can be sold or displayed.
  5. dolittle94

    dolittle94 Member

    It's less of alcohol being the problem, it's more of the people who choose to drink and their control. Alcohol doesn't ruin anybody's life unless they let it, so you can't blame it on the bottle. Too much of anything can lead to destroying someones life. Too much food can cause obesity and lead to bodily function failure, but the government doesn't regulate how much a person is allowed to eat.
  6. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    This is indeed a complex and widely debated issue. I watched a documentary where they actually tested the differences between drivers under the influence of alcohol and drivers under the influence of marijuana - those who were under the influence of marijuana were found to be more cautious and more careful than sober drivers whereas the people under the influence of alcohol had very poor judgement. Marijuana actually improved their judgement. However, this is still considered an impairment in human perception and therefore they deem it to not be safe.
    Joseph likes this.
  7. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    One has just to view the stats of the just concluded Munich beer festival to get a clear understanding on why Alcohol is not considered as a narcotic. There's big money involved and what better way for a Government to make money than this? The effects of alcohol, it seems,are going to haunt us for long time to come.
    Joseph and kevinkimers like this.
  8. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    Sorry, history major... here is the reason.

    The Government did actually ban alcohol back from 1920 to 1933. It was mandated under the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Then people began to "bootleg" the alcohol and then it law was removed. Here is a link to a video on it.


    MJ is on the same path as alcohol was and is slowly moving towards legalization. Alcohol started out as medicinal too.
    Sparkster and Joseph like this.
  9. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I asked that question as a child. My grandmother remembered prohibition and she thought it was a good thing. It did definitely create a whole market for underground and dangerous alcohol production, but the social impact I think was actually positive and pretty long lasting. I heard it took about 40-50 years for the percent of Americans who are alcoholic to return to the pre prohibition rate after it was repealed.

    In my opinion alcohol is not safe. Making it illegal may or may not solve anything. There are so many people making their living in the beer and wine industry now, it would be seriously challenging to change things now.
    Joseph likes this.
  10. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    The thing is, alcohol and nicotine both cause many hospitalizations and health problems so much more than some other substances (such as marijuana) and therefore (in the UK) cost the NHS a LOT of money. Also, a person can suffer a fatal overdose from drinking too much alcohol, whereas this cannot happen with marijuana. Alcohol also causes many people to become violent and results in higher crime rates on the streets.
  11. dpaige707

    dpaige707 Member

    I ask this question about cigarettes as well. Why is something that we know does nothing but harm us legal? Culture and human nature has a lot to do with it. As an Americans we have had drinking pushed onto us by the capitalist society that goads us,"Buy! Buy! Buy!" If you turn on the TV, watch a movie, open up a magazine or drive down the highway, you will see at least a handful things suggesting alcohol. Human nature also has a lot to do with it because we all have our demons. That internal struggle that occurs every time we make a decision. Sometimes we when win sometimes we don't and that's all a part of life.
  12. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    That is a good one, I would not know hoew to answer that question, because both marijuana and alcohol have existed from back then in the ancient times, but you find that alcohol is much more favores by the law, yet it causes so much damage.
  13. ImMrCuriosity

    ImMrCuriosity Member

    Alcohol is legal because it provides lots of money to the different countries of the world, same as tobacco. Actually, alcohol has caused even more deaths than marijuana or other soft drugs. But, we live in a world where the money is before the welfare.
  14. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    The simple truth is that alcohol is still widely socially acceptable. Every class in the hierarchy of our society drinks. That includes the poorest people, poverty-stricken workers and homeless. The middle class drink in their local taverns and pubs. The upper-middle class and elite consume their alcohol at parties and formal engagements. People also drink for nearly every occasion and mood. Many "celebrate" by getting drunk. But the same people may get wasted when their wife leaves them or a loved one dies. Unlike smoking, alcohol probably won't lose it's stature.
  15. proldani

    proldani Member

    The problem gets worse when you consider the fact that many people around the world have fast and easy access to alcohol, even from an early age. Certain rural regions in Mexico lack access to food because of their location and social conditions. In many cases, families wo can't afford milk and bread (among many other meals we take for granted) feed their children with pulque, an alcoholic beverage based on a cactus known as maguey.
  16. Victor Leigh

    Victor Leigh Member

    I think perception has a lot to do with alcohol being legal and marijuana not.

    This angle on the issue struck me when I was watching a movie online. In the movie, the hero was shown taking a drink of alcohol after having gone through a nerve-wracking experience. He was depicted as a manly person, all brawn and courage. So, then, I realized that the stereotypical image of a person drinking alcohol is one of being manly and brave.

    Is it any wonder then that nobody is going to outlaw something with such a great image?
  17. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    Alcohol can be made from absolutely anything. The basic recipe for any alcohol is sugar, water and yeast. It would be extremely hard to regulate this, because it is likely the most diverse drug on the planet. Compound the fact it is socially acceptable in most places, and it's doubtful it will ever be illegal again.
  18. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    I think that alcohol is considered legal because it is washed out of the body without much damage. I am not a professional; this is just my opinion. Majority of people do not get addicted to alcohol. Besides most establishments have a set limit of the amount of alcohol that can be sold to a particular person. This in a way helps eliminate abuse of alcohol. From my personal experience, alcohol is a dangerous drug that should be eliminated from the face of the earth.
  19. Victor Leigh

    Victor Leigh Member

    Socially acceptable? This is rather strange considering some of the effects of drinking alcohol. People who drink and drive are posing a danger to themselves and other people. Is it socially acceptable to cause harm to people while under the influence of alcohol?
  20. megankl

    megankl Active Contributor

    I have to agree! I am constantly laughing at this and I will never understand it. Someone under the influence of alcohol is much more crazy then someone who has smoked marijuana. There is a total complete difference between the two and I think it is so funny. I know many people who smoke regularly and are living perfect doing no harm to the world then you meet alcoholic after alcoholic who is destroying themselves and those around them.