Which would you rather have your children use?

Summary and opinion Mariama McGee.

Pediatrician as well as a parent, Aaron E. Carroll has been asked the question, " which would you rather have your children use? Alcohol or Marijuana?" multiple times. His answer like any other parent would be neither but as if anyone would take that as an answer. But he said if he was forced to make a choice, he would say marijuana. His argument for his answer centers around alcohol and marijuana use in a high school and college atmosphere.

Alcohol has been a factor in 40 percent of all violent crimes including 37 percent of rapes and 27 percent of aggravated assaults. In a study in 2011, drinking was associated with mental and physical dating abuse among college students yet in a 2014 study, found that there were lower rates of violence among college couples and smoking marijuana.

Drinking and driving is a serious issue among high school and college students. The 87 percent odds of being in a fatal crash associated with marijuana use cannot even compare to the 2,200 percent odds of being in a fatal crash while drunk.  Having a favorable amount of THC in your blood stream does not increase the risk of accidents as opposed to having a blood alcohol level of .05 percent which increases the risk by 575 percent.

Driving while intoxicated can be also a factor of the commonly middle class problem of binge drinking. Binge drinking has be accounted for more than the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths in the States in 2010. Sadly more than 28 percent of the binge drinkers in the United States are between the ages of 18 to 24. Yet the number of deaths associated with marijuana are anything close to zero. It also has no hindering effect on the mortality of healthy men and women.  

If you look at the facts for just college students only, there are more than 1800 college student deaths from alcohol related accidents. There are about 700,000 cases of assault and 100,000 cases of sexual assault under alcohol influence. In addition, there were 400,000 cases of unprotected sex and more than 100,000 cases of non-consented sex. The amount of cases above associated with marijuana use cannot even be in the same league of alcohol use.

As a current college student, I can stand by saying that I personally have seen the unfavorable factors of alcohol influence. Alcohol has lead to many underage student emergency room incidents. It also leads to poor decision making. Depending on the negative actions you take, it can affect you for the rest of your life.

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