Alcohol vs. Marijuana (Part 1)

By Chuck Norris

Dirty Hippy Obama
Alcohol vs. Marijuana (Part 1)
Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris

Dallas, TX – -( I understand the arguments for the legalization of marijuana: It can generate tax revenue. It can reduce illegal supply and demand. It can strip power from cartels and lessen crime across and at our borders. And it isn't so dangerous as other illegal drugs or alcohol.

President Barack Obama even claimed one of those arguments when he recently told New Yorker Editor David Remnick, “As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”

Obama explained, “(Smoking marijuana is) not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” But then he added, “I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

With the president entering the cannabis conversation ring, debate has intensified around the nation. But what's the truth in the alcohol-vs.-marijuana dispute?

CNN recently reported on some extensive studies and evidence surrounding the topic, especially in comparing use, addiction, withdrawal and the effects on using motorized vehicles. Let me summarize those and cite some others. (Next week, I will discuss in greater detail how alcohol and marijuana compare in their effects on our minds, bodies and relationships.)

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol remains the leading addictive substance consumed in the U.S. But according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I substance — in the same classification as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that 9 percent of marijuana users will become addicted to it. (By comparison, about 20 percent of cocaine users become addicted.) More than 4 million people abused pot or had an addiction problem with it in 2011, according to Fox News.

Alcoholics can suffer from the following withdrawal symptoms: depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, fever, nausea and even seizures. And CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explained, “There is clear evidence that in some people, marijuana use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety and nausea.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse added that the drug is linked to “school failure” and that high doses “can cause psychosis or panic when you're high,” according to Fox News.

Of course, we know the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving. Similarly, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal showed that marijuana users who drove within three hours of smoking nearly doubled their chances of causing a crash compared with sober drivers. And the American Society of Addiction Medicine just released a statement saying the drug “impairs memory, motor function and respiratory health when smoked — and can be addictive.”

To say marijuana isn't so dangerous as alcohol is like saying a plain doughnut isn't so bad for us as a glazed one. The point is what? Wouldn't it simply be better to ditch the doughnuts from our diets and try whole-wheat toast with organic peanut butter and sliced bananas as a more nutritious way to start our days?

It suffices to say here that justifying the use of one drug because it's not so dangerous as another drug is weak reasoning in any book and bad grounds for justifying usage of either of them.

And such a statement coming from a sitting president of the United States is simply reckless leadership run amok.

As far as why the president gave his pro-marijuana comments to The New Yorker, I think Donald Moorse, a Portland, Ore., medical marijuana dispensary owner, hit the cannabis nail right on the head: The president's views “will influence people throughout the country. I think that's why he made the comments.”

And how does the president justify his pro-marijuana stance? He believes that if marijuana is legalized, fewer young blacks and Latinos will be imprisoned.

Obama said about the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado: “It's important for it to go forward because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

And he explained who those “select few” are when he said: “Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

Fox News summarized that “the president echoed the argument that pro-legalization advocates often make, stressing the cost to society of locking up minor drug offenders.”

So let me get this straight: If pot is legalized, we pay less to incarcerate minor drug offenders by unleashing and increasing major pot smokers and smoking in every stratum of society as if there will be no price to pay — personal, monetary or otherwise — in doing so?

No wonder the Drug Free America Foundation said on its website this past week about Obama: “His laissez-faire attitude about legalization has drug policy and prevention experts scratching their heads in confusion as to why the President will not give clear guidance on this important issue.”

The foundation went on to say, “President Obama is surrounded by … myriad … experts who have voiced serious concerns about the harms of marijuana and rejected legalization, so either he is seriously ill-informed about the issue or is completely ignoring warnings from his highly-esteemed advisers.”

Fox News also noted that Obama's own Office of National Drug Control Policy “lists a range of negative health and mental consequences from the drug, including schizophrenia, lower IQ (‘as much as an 8 point drop') and higher risk of heart attack.”

More double talk and more double standards from the White House. How shocking.

Remember the days when presidents modeled and espoused healthy living, beginning by denouncing drug use rather than justifying it?

Maybe it's time we fight all addictive drugs instead of making excuses for using them. Maybe it's time we teach and model for young people that life can be good enough on its own merit without altering reality by drug use.

I'm not here making a case for or against the medicinal use of marijuana. However, it's very difficult for me to believe that America, average healthy Americans and particularly our younger generations are going to be better off with pot's legalization.

I'm all for freedom, but when liberty turns into licentiousness, it's time to reconsider why we're doing what we're doing. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. And if that's the case, what other illicit passion is going to be next in the lineup of legalization?

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at

Action hero and Second Amendment activist, Chuck Norris is one of the most enduringly popular actors in the world. He has starred in more than 20 major motion pictures. His television series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which completed its run in April 2001 after eight full seasons, is the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since “Gunsmoke.”In 2006, he added the title of columnist to his illustrious list of credits with the launch of his popular Internet column. Now Chuck is a regular contributor to AmmoLand, click the following link to See more of Chuck Norris on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

  • 21 thoughts on “Alcohol vs. Marijuana (Part 1)

    1. Chuck,
      Please don’t continue with anymore of this series. I support your right to speak your mind, but pot? Really? We already have more people in prison that China, will jailing more potheads help keep us safe? No, but it will help support neo-military outfits like the DEA and ATF, not to mention those great DHS grants for local police to buy armored vehicles and full battle rattle. All of which will not help us gain freedom from tyranny- ever.
      And using Fox News as the source for hard data on this topic weakens your argument.

    2. Chuck, I love you man, but I can’t find one word in our Constitution about what we may or may not ingest. That said, as a proponent of said Constitution, don’t you have to agree that neither alcohol nor marijuana, or for that matter, any drugs, food, or drink, are any of the government’s affair? I’m not saying folks should use any of that stuff, I’m just saying that free people have the God given right to make the decision on their own, without the government’s or anyone else’s “help”…

    3. Chuck, you are going to find that the people that will smoke pot when it’s legal, are the ones who are smoking it now. Now the only difference will be that America is a little bit freer and closer to those principles.

    4. Don’t expect any help from NRA in Illinois. NRA contract lobbyist for IL Todd Vandermyde stated that NRA has no position on the new IL medical marijuana law that requires IL gun owners to give up their FOID card and conceal carry license if they want medical marijuana.

      Vandermyde is the traitor who wrote Duty to Inform with criminal penalties of 6 months or 1 year in jail for Rep. Brandon Phelps HB183 “good” concealed carry bill. Looks like Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA/ILA never go to IL to see what their pet gangster is doing.

      Vandermyde worked for William Dugan, president of the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers local 150 in Countryside, IL, when Dugan was convicted by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in 2010. Great resume with criminal associations for the NRA sellout Vandermyde.

    5. here is how this is going to work
      you want POT you can have it
      there is going to be a trade off
      illinois is already wanting this
      you can have your pot but you can
      kiss your guns goodby

    6. I think it’s funny when I hear ADDICTION for Pot! I don’t smoke it anymore,But I did smoke it from like age 12-22 and near was addicted. I smoke it everyday. It didn’t cause me to use other drugs or the miss school. A screwed up family life got me to skipping school and I did drop out for the same reason. I later got my GED and now have been driving trucks for 31yrs.. I personally think that the drug companies are the ones that want to keep it illegal! Pot has ALOT of positive benefits and they loose money if it’s Legalized!! I see nothing wrong if I want to sit at home on a Friday night and smoke a joint. If I’m not going to be driving. Be ready for work on Monday. They need to come up with a test to determine long long it has been since you did smoke it so you won’t fail a drug test. I hear it’s in your system for 30 days even though your not high.

    7. Just imagine how much easier it’ll be for the government to trample the Bill of Rights when a good portion of the population is “mellowed out” on booze and pot. Drugs, legal or illegal, are a scourge on American society.

    8. Using tax revenue as one of the ‘benefits’ for legal weed is a joke.

      Look at the prices for legal weed in Colorado,
      people will continue to grow their own for personal consumption or just use the black market and pay what they normally pay.

      As for our incompetent and impotent POTUS Obama, you can’t get lung cancer from alcohol.

      People are using weed without any filters,
      just as dangerous as cigarettes.

      The drug companies will jump on legal weed,
      look how much they are making off all these cholesterol and ED drugs!

      It is true the medical benefits to weed are a good thing, a recent story on cable news showed how a legal grower was able to breed the plants to reduce the THC levels so that a young girl would be able to benefit from the drug. It was not easy to do but they did it over time and now the girl can live without pain.

      Another case was a young man, he would have difficulty breathing, had a whole shelf full of strong pharmaceuticals, these would leave him all doped up and groggy.

      With the medical weed, he takes one hit on it and he can breath normally without any of the heavy drugs he was prescribed.

      I don’t care for weed, never smoked it but was around those that did (honest), just being in the car or room made me feel different and that I did not like.

      I say medical yes, recreational no.


    9. the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

      from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections

      20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state,
      lol…20 years behind us Texas, why would we ever mess with you…

      love and freedom forever

      MARIJUANA SUPER BOWL 2014, free state vs. free state, destiny


    10. Anyone with half a brain knows that it’s the pharmaceutical industry and the alcohol industry that doesn’t want pot legalized because it has medicinal qualities aside from recreational use without the harsh side effects. And Norris, you are a hypocrite to judge pot without commenting on alcohol, which is far worse.

    11. The War on Drugs has been about as effective as Prohibition in controlling drug use and as effective in empowering criminal cartels.

      I’ve never used pot and can’t see any reason why I ever will, but it’s painfully clear to me that banning it is an unworkable solution.

      I’m disappointed in Mr. Norris for writing this article because the reasons that he espouses for continuing the prohibition on marijuana seems to come straight out of the nanny state playbook.

    12. In a “PERFECT WORLD”…I prefer the “pursuit of life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness” as outlined by the founders as the guiding principle in my life.
      The “Deciders” methods have/are a complete failure,period,on many levels and have spawned
      intrusive gov,cartels,etc.
      Idiots in this world will always abound who will abuse anything imaginable..let them live with that.
      Free will…I have the right to fail…and hopefully learn a better way than being drunk,stoned…or worse enslaved by an overeaching gov.
      I tried pot when young…decided I didn’t want to live like a slug and quit…became an alcoholic instead..ha ha..paid a heavy price but have been sober 6 yrs and counting…without the pain inflicted on myself..I would still be drinking. I TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR MYSELF EVENTUALLY.
      HUMAN NATURE….As the founders will follow it course regardless of laws,rules,etc.most of us will learn whats good for us, a few won’t.

      There will always be idiots… don’t penalize me
      with loss of freedom for the actions of a few.

      Lastly…seems like all the stats come from the very same over reaching “Deciders”…looking to justify their actions.

    13. The war on drugs is bankrupting our nation when we could be getting tax revenue off of it and getting the criminal element out of it. Remembe Al Capone when alcohol was illegal?

    14. Conservatives are just too much sometimes! It is the war on drugs that is driving the militarization of law enforcement. Guess who is going to come to take your guns? Yep, the militarized law enforcers. To be anti-drug legalization is to be anti-guns. By legalizing drugs we can reduce crime & with it reduce the size & equipment of the law enforcement establishment, the greatest threat to liberty we face.

      Consider the principles involved. If the govt can outlaw drugs it can outlaw guns. Once the principle is established that they can outlaw the mere possession of things there is no containing them. We need to restore respect for property rights so our guns & everything else we own will be safe from the govt gang.

      Gun Control and the War on Drugs

      “Both types of laws are terribly immoral, as they are affronts to basic personal liberty. In a free society, all individuals own themselves and the products of their labor and exchange, and are free to do as they wish so long as they do not commit violence and fraud against other people. Arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating people for the weapons they choose to own or the drugs they choose to consume are immoral violations of the rights of self-ownership, and the corollary rights to control one’s own body and property.”

    15. For decades we’ve spent trillions enforcing drug prohibition, and we’ve reached the point of total failure. Fact 1: There is NO HIGH SCHOOL in the United States without a drug problem. Fact 2: There is NO FEDERAL PRISON without a drug problem. If you can’t keep drugs away from people over whom you have 24/7/365 control, how on earth can you continue to pursue the delusional premise of drug prohibition? I’ve never partaken of marijuana in any form, but the enormous expense of telling people what they can put in their mouth must be brought to an end. And please don’t say things will get worse. Anyone who wants drugs can get drugs now.

    16. Sorry Chuck but you are wrong on this one. I think maybe its time for the old duffer to hang up his chaps and get out of the political game. Thanks for your pro 2nd amend. stance Mr. Norris you’ve done us a great service but it’s time to use some common sense and just legalize it already. It’s not a left right issue. It’s an issue of compassion and freedom.

    17. Beware also the hedonistic cousins of Liberals, the wolves in sheep’s clothing Liberal-tarians. They are two sides of the same coin of libertinsm. While Liberals tend towards collectivism, the Liberal-tarians trend towards anarchy. Atheists like Rand and Rothbard are their mentors.

      True Conservatives believe in constitutionally limited federalism as instituted by the Founders & Federalist Papers. This includes strong national security, fiscal, and social policy based upon Judeo-Christian heritage. Liberal-tarians agree more with Liberals on national security and social policy as witnessed by “joint” efforts during the Occupy Movement and in legalizing same-sex marriage and illicit drugs.

      Ron Paulian Voluntaryism is nothing more than a desire to return to the “Reign of Terror” anarchy of the French Revolution. This is Liberal-tarianism carried to its logical end as witnessed by Thomas Paine & Robespierre.

    18. Dear editor, your article looks very diffrent when you put both numbers up

      Drug abuse rate Alcohol: 15 % Marijuana 9% (source

      Withdrawal symptoms Alcohol: 7 depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, fever, nausea and even seizures. Marijuana: 3 insomnia, anxiety and nausea.

      % to get in a crash when intoxicated Alcohol: 46% with a BAC of only .01Marijuana ~50% within three hours of smoking (source

      Number of death from overdoes each year  Alcohol: 317 Marijuana: 0 (source

      So I ask. When you compare these two DRUGS only on the points you had stated in your article which is worse? 

      I am tired of trying to reach for some toast only to have some idot slap my hand and tell me that I can only have the doughnut because it’s the only one legal and then on top of it all try and convince me that the doughnuts better for me then toast.  

    19. People like Chuck Norris talk about freedom for all, but what they actually mean is freedom for them to do what they want.
      If you want a nanny state telling you what you can or cannot do for your own good, then lets get rid of everything that people do that is unnecessary and may
      be harmful to them.
      Starting with martial arts competion, boxing, motorcycle riding, target shooting/hunting, sky diving, eating unhealthy/too much food, hockey, football,
      automobile racing, the list goes on and on and on.
      You better believe for everything on that list there are people who would like to make those activities illegal. Just ask Michael Bloomburg, AKA mayor big gulp.
      Chuck Norris you are a hypocrite. You want the freedom to own firearms and compete in a dangerous sport, but then want to restrict other peoples freedoms.
      I want the freedom to eat a artery clogging meal and to finish it with bottle of whiskey if I feel like it. I want the freedom to ride my motorcycle (without a helmet), I want the freedom to do everything on that list and more, without control freaks (thats right I’m talking to you Norris) constantly trying to prevent me from doing them.
      That’s real freedom not the crap you espouse.

    20. I usually don’t comment here but this article made me. Prohibition doesn’t work. It failed with alcohol. Marijuana was initially prohibited because of racist attitudes. How many politicians smoked marijuana when younger/still smoke marijuana? How man businessmen and business owners? How does a lower income person make it out of that if because of a marijuana possession charge as a teen they are now disqualified from a large number of grants and scholarships? Yet the middle class and upper class person was caught and not charged/convicted. The laws then become very classist. From everything I have read, there are more reports of the benefits of marijuana than the negative effects. The war on drugs in the country has caused a large amount of spending for what has essentially amounted to a failure.

      I am all for freedom for adults. If an adult decides to do drugs understanding the negative possible side effects, so be it.

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