Is it too morbid?

by Responsible Choice · 5 comments

That’s the question, but you’ll need to read the post first I think before you answer.

In an attempt to provide some sort of perspective on the alcohol vs. cannabis debate here I decided to give myself a challenge. It went as follows:

If alcohol is really that dangerous surely there is some sort of paper trail, as in surely the media would be all over it right? Therefore, if I assume that is true, a bit of a media investigation will give me my answer.

Thus, I challenged myself to find evidence of the harms of alcohol in the media, and the timeframe I allowed was the last three months. If it’s that bad there ought to be something in that timeframe, right?

I accepted my own challenge after slapping myself in the face with a glove, then proceeded to demand satisfaction, and began my search.

Firstly I created criteria for my search, namely:

– the search would be confined to Australia only

– I could only choose one media source

– the media source had to have national coverage

– the media source posted their own articles, so as to avoid copyright issues relating to the taking down of articles after a set amount of time, thus making any link to them useless.

(*NOTE: this may still happen over the next few months, but I’m willing to take it on the chin)

After (not) much deliberation I chose ABC News Online. National, mostly posts up their own content, and at least it’s not a commercial news ‘provider’, sort of…

Anyway, I decided to begin with an elementary search of the site, starting with the keyword ‘alcohol’, and then refining my search after that to ferret out any illusive bits of media goodness stuck in any nook or cranny.

It turns out I needn’t have planned that far ahead.

You see it turns out that my premise was entirely valid. Here is what I found, chronologically from April 3rd, 2011.

Out of control teen smashes police bus, April 3rd Drunken underage teens assault police

Port fines Hartlett for drinking, April 13th AFL player admits alcohol problem and binge drinking

Gallop fears for Carney’s mental state, April 20th NRL players banned for drunken behavior and assault

Two charged over beauty pageant brawl, April 28th Three drunken brawls after beauty pageant

Hoteliers reject calls for alcohol restrictions, April 29th Hoteliers accused of fuelling alcoholism

Man weeps after being charged with 92yo’s death, May 13th Drink driver crashes into nursing home

Drunk driver crashes into parked car, June 5th Woman driving six times over limit

Australia lagging in foetal alcohol research, June 20th Australia’s ‘hidden disability’

Experts call for end to cheap booze, July 6th Formation of National Alcohol Action Alliance to reduce alcohol-related harm nationally

And finally a little clip  from the 7.30 Report about Northern Territory rates of alcohol use, abuse and violence.


So, I guess I can answer my own question: Yes it is morbid, very much so. Especially when you consider the amount of violence, death and negative impacts on social, mental and physical health that is portrayed there.

If you got through all of that without calling me a morbid bastard I reckon you’d probably be in the minority, and for those who did it doesn’t change the facts.

It’s time we all stared them straight in the face and then asked the question: Is cannabis as dangerous as alcohol?


I’ll delve into the realm of media again in the same way for cannabis in my next post, just to keep things even there, but I would be surprised if I came up with the same tale of woe as above.

Or am I wrong?

Please post any or all of your thoughts below, we welcome your comments, positive or negative.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi Robinson July 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

You’ve hit the nail right on the head.
I’ve seen what alcohol can do on a very personal level.

It’s a very dangerous drug and can change a persons personality completely.

Many a time, I’ve been at BBQ’s and slowly as the evening progressed so did the loudness and rowdiness of certain people who eventually would either need to be forced to leave or the police would have to be called.

Alcohol fuels violence – whereas cannabis fuels calmness and enlightenment.

I have a distinct hate of alcohol and the abuse that I see around me in the community.

Travelling Australia, we stay at a lot of caravan parks and sadly this is where I have seen alcohol abuse at it’s worse.

There are people at a park we’ve stayed at, who as soon as they get up in the morning they are drinking wine, one guy even has his wine in a drink bottle in the bike holder of his push-bike, and just drinks it all day. There’s another lady, who walks up to the bottle shop every morning and gets a cask of wine and goes and sits in her caravan all day drinking, and you don’t see her again until the next morning when she surfaces to walk back up to the bottle shop. Every day 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year – year after year.

Alcohol abuse I believe is the biggest disease Australia has with tobacco coming up a close second or maybe even equal.

I have no idea how we can fix this social problem.

However one idea would be if the cannabis laws were reformed and the government didn’t waste so much money trying to fight the war on drugs, we might be able to allocate more money into some decent alcohol education and detox programs.

But the way it stands at the moment, there is not enough money for any worthwhile programs to make much of an impact at all.

So I say – FREE the WEED = Freeing up government money for health reform.

Just my opinions.



Responsible Choice July 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for your comment Deb, nice to know what people think about what we put up in here.



Billy Mckee July 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I have seen people who get aggro on alcohol have a smoke of cannabis and calm right down and become friendly so it will reduce alcohol related crime.


Responsible Choice July 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Exactly mate.

This is one of the major advantages of cannabis regulation, a dramatic reduction in alcohol related violence, death, disease and injury, because people have a safer option that doesn’t increase their likelihood of experiencing such negative outcomes.

Conservative estimates have been made that cannabis legalisation and regulation would lead to a reduction in annual alcohol sales of around 30%. That would have massive implications for our nation’s health.

Thanks for the comment 🙂


Brian February 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I was having a discussion on booze versus Cannabis years ago in the pub with some people I knew,

I said to them, That i would prefer my kids and their friends at home smoking dope in the back room to them drinking alcohol in the same back room,
I said, I would supply them with TV, radio or music, Not the dope or alcohol,

I would go out and return hours later, The results would be when I returned,

on Dope, they would throw money at me to buy chocolates, Bickys, lollies, food etc etc, They would be all happy and no arguments or fights, there would be nothing damaged,

On Booze, They would be fighting, All sorts of things destroyed and or smashed, I would be lucky if the house hadnt been burnt down,

Quite a few were shocked by my attitude towards Dope, But then this little old lady that was sitting there, calmly said I spoke the truth, and she smoked dope as well,

It certainly took the wind out of the blow hards,

This was purely put up as a discussion, None of my kids ever smoked, and gave me a hard time because I smoked cigarettes, They never mentioned the dope I smoked,

I was a heavy drinker years ago, But gave it away as it was very bad for me, My tolerance for other people was almost Nil when drinking,
On dope, I could lay in the front entrance of a pub and have people walk over me and I would think it was funny,

Two very different drugs, with very different outcomes, One extremely Violent, the other, Totally Harmless,


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