Binge Drinking Safely? Huh?

The director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Robin Room, believes that binge drinking could be stymied if marijuana was legalized.

Room told The Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia, “…[Legalization] makes a lot of sense in terms of, among others, cutting down government costs to have a fairly highly controlled legal (cannabis) market and, while we are at it, tighten up the legal market of alcohol in the same way we tightened up the market of tobacco.” [Emphasis added.]

Read that last part, and look again to Mr. Room’s organization. Call me cynical, but it sounds like there may be a bit of internet pandering there.

Of course, the article is quick to note that, “In an ideal world, Prof Room said teens would not smoke marijuana or drink alcohol to excess.”

Well, no kidding? What, then, is the point?

Room believes teens that smoke weed and drink are better off than teens that exclusively drink alcohol, and that all things being equal, adding marijuana is less likely to result in violence.

In a sense, it seems as though the suggestion is to smoke weed if you drink to prevent yourself from hulking out and going on a rampage.

Does smoking weed prevent violence? Some might say so, but others…not so much.

If preventing others is (assumedly) done in the name of safety, then, really, it is probably safer to just forego the second substance. This can be especially true when considering the circumstances one may have to go through to get weed (such as risking arrest, among others).

Further, this assumes that the pot being used is legit. As any addict knows, that is not always the case. Any time another chemical is added to the equation, the potential number of issues that could result goes up as well. Prof Room’s comment also assumes that the options of weed and alcohol are the only ones on the table. If you know a guy who can get you weed, then it is quite likely that the same guy has connections to get other substances.

To have an academic suggesting that drugs should be mixed to reduce violence is more than a little outrageous. When even the possibility of combining aspirin and alcohol can be deadly (via thinning of the blood, which is why it is helpful for those with heart disease), such a recommendation almost seems like either a dismissive answer without much thought behind it, a joke, or a combination thereof.

Binge drinking is something that, unfortunately, a lot of people do. It is something that a lot of young people do. It leads to lower inhibitions, which can often lead to violence.

Implying that it is safer to smoke weed while binge drinking is like suggesting someone wear a seatbelt while driving drunk; it is better if it is not done in the first place.

Binge drinking is a tell-tale sign of alcoholism/addiction. If people were drinking responsibly in the first place, Prof Room’s suggestion wouldn’t need to be made. Since binge drinkers tend to gravitate towards alcoholic/addict behavior, steering them towards a different substance is really not that helpful of a suggestion.

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