Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Scientists Discover Life Is The Leading Cause Of Death

In the real world, people should try to take care of their health, but public health advice should be realistic.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.

Alexander Woollcott quipped that “All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.” He died in 1943 so he missed so many other hazards that modern science would discover.  

For example, The Guardian reports that researchers recently discovered that, “Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain.

Here's Why You Get The 'Drunchies' After A Night Of Drinking
Photo by Shopify Partners via Burst

“A senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford said that a “UK study of 25,000 people finds even moderate drinking is linked to lower grey matter density.”

The study’s authors suggested that, “The associations of wine-drinking with higher educational attainment and socioeconomic status may explain the perceived health benefits.”

“If you look at who is moderately drinking, at least in this country, they are better educated, wealthier people that would do much better on a memory test … just because of who they are, than people that are less educated,” said lead author, Anya Topiwala, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford.

In other words, smart people, everyone from Jesus to Bill Buckley, have been drinking wine and giving it a good name, but now we know they would have been even smarter, if only…  

Of course, there have been countless articles warning about health risks from marijuana use, such as “How Casual Marijuana Can Cause Brain Abnormalities”.  

One of the standard arguments against marijuana legalization is based on the view that the human brain isn’t fully developed until we are 25, so cannabis should not be legalized for people who aren’t at least that old.  

How Long Will Your Marijuana High Last? What Researchers Get Wrong
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Of course, the contraband markets don’t have age limits, and scientists need to factor that into policy recommendations. Also, public health choices are not a “zero-sum game.”  

SEE: They Say The Brain Doesn’t Mature Until We Are 25 But Does Marijuana Help the Brain Mature? 

Now consider that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day. These deaths shorten the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years, for a total of 2.8 million years of potential life lost.”

And yet alcohol prohibition was a disaster that was abandoned after 13 years,  while it has taken almost a century to repeal marijuana prohibition, even though marijuana may help with alcoholism. 

SEE: Marijuana Is Replacing Alcohol For Nearly Half Of Cannabis Consumers During The Pandemic 

The most direct response to Woolcott’s quip is that “The dose makes the poison”.   

That is the only realistic answer to those who claimed that there is no “harmless” level for alcohol or cannabis use. And that is also true of pandemics.

Another quote from Woollcott seems very relevant today: “I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.”   

In the real world, people should try to take care of their health, but public health advice should be realistic.  

SEE: We Know Too Much About Marijuana for It To Be Illegal  

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Unconventional Ways To Use CBD


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