Recreational drug use is certainly a subject that could use a lot more scientific research.
For decades, especially in the United States, using drugs in a party or social setting was looked down, and the War on Drugs was our government’s extremely ill-advised attempt to legislate drug morality. The reality, though, is that just like the prohibition of alcohol, the War on Drugs didn’t make a dent in people using drugs “for fun,” and with more and more states legalizing marijuana in some form or another, we may be witnessing a paradigm shift on using drugs, and if so, the 2017 Global Drug Survey — and more studies like it — can help us navigate a bold new world where adults are treated like adults.
For anyone living in the 21st century, the rankings will be about as shocking as finding out a Kardashian likes attention. The study measured “safety” by how many people who reported using a drug that needed to go to the hospital because of their drug use. Unsurprisingly, “magic mushrooms” are associated with the fewest hospital visits, and marijuana is right behind it. Essentally, by themselves, mushrooms and weed are about as safe as you can be with any drug.
Overall, the hospital visit score card looks like this:
- Mushrooms: 0.2%
- Cannabis: 0.6%
- LSD: 1.0%
- Cocaine: 1.0%
- Amphetamine: 1.1%
- MDMA: 1.2%
- Alcohol: 1.3%
- Synthetic cannabis: 3.2%
- Methamphetamine: 4.8%
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Another completely predictable outcome of this study is that meth, or speed, is ranked the most dangerous. Almost 5% of people who said they’d done some form of meth said they had to
At the other end of the chart,methamphetamine, synthetic cannabis, and alcohol carried the most risk of a trip to the local emergency ward, leaving MDMA (ecstasy) and amphetamines in the middle of the drug safety table.
Of course, what studies like this really expose is just how much idiotic fear mongering that happens about drugs — particularly mushrooms and pot. This study seems to show that there is a ridiculously low immediate health risk associated with those two drugs. I’m not telling you a lifetime of smoking the reef and eating shrooms won’t have some kind of deleterious impact on your health, mental or otherwise, but when it comes to the idea that weed or mushrooms are “dangerous” drugs, studies like this one prove that’s just a bunch of hogwash.
We know — without any doubt — that alcohol is more dangerous and harmful for you and society in general. I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t drink. I do, after all. I’m just saying that when you stop paying attention to the rhetoric and look at the facts, it’s stupid, literally stupid, to pretend booze and pot present the same dangers to us. It’s like saying there are good people on both sides of a Nazi rally, know what I mean?
Here are some more stone cold facts about drugs and alcohol, provided by none other than the Science Enthusiast himself, Dan.
– Yes @FoxNews, I always warm up my marijuanas before injecting
– 1 in 8 adults are alcoholics
– Teen alcohol use kills 4700 a year, more than all illegal drugs combined
– The worst thing a “pot addict” could do is forget to pickup Taco Bell on their way to your house pic.twitter.com/oawsKEhBf4
— Dan Broadbent 🚀 (@aSciEnthusiast) January 4, 2019
Clearly, as Dan points out, if we’re going to have recreational chemical use happening in this country, the least dangerous one is the wacky-tobacky. It’s odd, sometimes, writing about studies like this, because it seems almost self-evident, but when you have to fight literally decades of straight-up anti-scientific propaganda, it’s not shocking that we have such a big hole to climb out of. The question now becomes, of course, how quickly can we can overcome that prejudice against reality and really get people information like this.
No one should pretend that drugs don’t have their risks, but it’s far past time for us to stop punishing people for having vices that we have no reason to fear irrationally.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.