How Is Cannabis Safer Than Alcohol?
A True Story About A True Struggle
A fifth of Jim Beam and a 18 pack of Miller Light use to be my daily routine. The first time I got really good and drunk was when I was 15; at a park down the street from my house. It was almost dusk when I walked down the street to the park after a bad argument with my mother. I don’t remember at all what it was about; I just remember wanting to escape. Escape I did; when I found a group of older kids -probably 17-18 year old -and they had a ton of booze! Whiskey, beer, wine; they had a bit of everything.
I had never really drank before then but when that Jack Daniels hit my mouth; it went down all too easily and I was hooked. I ended up drinking with these other kids until I blacked out. I woke up around 4am; alone and in a field by the park. I never saw any of them ever again, but the way the alcohol allowed me to temporarily escape stuck with me for a very long time.
Of course my mother smelled the alcohol on me when I stumbled in. At that time, my parents were going through a rough patch that ultimately ended in them divorcing. I quickly became a very young alcoholic -using it to escape anything and everything I didn’t like in my life. It turned out to be a rough road that almost cost me my life on more than one occasion.
For years and years I was a total drunk. I would get ‘blackout’ drunk and not remember anything I did or said. I got into fights, arguments, and even car accidents that I had to be ‘reminded’ about in the morning. It was horrible -Not to mention the damage that was being done to my insides.
When I met my wife in 2009, she immediately saw that I had a problem (I wrecked my car while driving [drunk] to pick her up for our 3rd date). She (fortunately) saw a better side of me shining through the booze. Over the years there were a lot of ups and downs; trials and struggles -All caused by my drinking problem.
In 2016, I got my 3rd and final DUI. I was found passed out in my car (while it was running) at a convenience store that was less than 1/2 a mile from my house. It was Thanksgiving night and I was arrested for drinking and driving. Because of Maryland law, I’ll be lucky if I can ever get my drivers license back.
This caused a chain of events to occur that almost cost me my family. My wife wanted to take herself and our 2 year old daughter and move back to her family farm. So I swore (once again) that I’d never touch the bottle again. This was probably the, I dunno…30th time I had said those words.
Since I didn’t have my license, I lost my job servicing and installing water treatment equipment and we ended up losing our house. We ended up moving into a basement apartment of a house owned by my father near Baltimore. It was 600 square feet, but we made it work.
For almost a year, I didn’t drink. I started seeing things more clearly. I started really reconnecting with my wife, our daughter and myself. Then I relapsed.
In early 2018, I had to get a full shoulder reconstruction due to 22 dislocations over 8 years. I got placed in a pain management clinic and in no time was taking an absurd amount of opiates every day. I started to develop a serious problem with them. It was at that point that I went back to drinking -Just to help with the pain.
It started out as me wanting to just drink a couple beers instead of taking opiate pain medications. Then it quickly turned into me drinking mixed drinks, beer and taking opiates; all at the same time. My body started to fail me in ways I never imagined possible. I started having trouble going to the bathroom; I was having memory issues; I was having severe pain in all of my joints and my liver and kidneys would ache and throb all the time.
Ever since I was in high school, I had always smoked cannabis; but it was always just recreationally and for fun. I had been an advocate and a voice for cannabis legalization for many years; and I even spoke out at the hearings in Annapolis MD in 2013-2014. I had never listened to my own advice though; I had never tried to quit everything and replace it with cannabis.
In early 2019, I finally listened to my inner voice (and my wife) and I officially became a Medical Cannabis Patient. I made cannabis my daily medication and it changed my life! I haven’t had a drink or taken an opiate at all since February 2019. I even quit smoking cigarettes after 22 years! Cannabis has opened more doors in my life and in my mind than I ever thought possible.
Like that song says “I can see clearly now; the rain is gone!” -The ‘rain’ for me was alcohol and since I’ve gotten it completely out of my life, I can see everything as clear as the bright blue sky!
I found out the hard way that alcohol is way more dangerous than cannabis. In fact, alcohol also strips your body of Vitamin D. Even after a year had passed without me drinking, I was still not quite right -even with cannabis. It turns out that my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent (probably due to years of alcohol abuse). My doctor prescribed some ultra-powerful Vitamin D capsules and after 3 weeks, I was like a whole new person!
It’s now June of 2021 and I haven’t had a drink for 2 years and 4 months -a record for me that will continue getting longer for the rest of my life. I have absolutely no desire to drink alcohol anymore. Being around people that are drinking doesn’t bother me; unless they are ‘fall-down’ drunk -that’s hard for anyone to deal with.
You see; because of cannabis, I was finally able to free myself from the chains of alcohol and opiates. I live a very full and prosperous life; all because I was able to say goodbye to drunken nights and nodding out with the help of a beautiful and highly beneficial plant called cannabis! If I can change; anyone can!