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Old 2012-08-29, 20:30   Link #21
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Interesting - I don't doubt what you're saying, it means that what I heard was likely overly simplified. Do you know more about this? Do the countries that you mentioned have higher drinking age laws and/or a more conservative culture regarding alcohol?
I grew up in Amsterdam and have lived in alternately in different European countries and State side as my father was an expat. So I have some personal experience.

WHO data on alcohol and health across Europe, for detailed info:

legal drinking ages:

drink of choice:

Alcohol has for centuries been the drug of the common people across Europe, marijuana and hard drugs have entered society through middle class youth culture and migrant workers. So the former is far more accepted. At times it was safer to drink beer than water.

The Nordic countries have high consumption taxes on alcohol and sale is state controlled. Until recently the UK limits on opening hours for pubs. These measures have been a reaction to extreme abuse in the 19th and 20th century, underage drinking is common and not really frowned upon. Sweetened drinks like Baccardi Breezers etc. have recently pushed down effective drinking age from 14-16ish to 12-14.

Climate has a major impact. Public drunkenness is frowned upon everywhere. It's not surprising that alcohol consumption in the high income countries is concentrated in the far North. Life is concentrated indoors due to long winters and wet cool summers which are both conductive to private alcohol consumption. Poverty is a major factor in Eastern Europe while the more outdoor lifestyle in the South reduces consumption. Maybe wine is also less suitable than beer or spirits for binge drinking consumption.

Religion is probably not a factor, as both the predominantly catholic Polish and Irish have the same problems with alcohol as the predominantly protestant Nordic countries. Immigrants from Muslim countries tend to suffer few alcohol problems, but it's not too surprising as it's consumption is downright forbidden in their religion.

Last edited by Bri; 2012-08-30 at 05:11.
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Old 2012-08-29, 23:01   Link #22
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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I've always saw very little difference between high on weed and drunk out of ass.
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Old 2012-08-29, 23:43   Link #23
Urzu 7
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New England
Age: 34
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Out of curiosity, what sort of worst-case scenarios are you thinking of?
Not quite sure. I myself hate drugs and drinking excessively, so I'm coming from a biased standpoint. I guess for one thing, I am convinced that weed is a gateway drug. I have had people who enjoy smoking pot assure me that is not the case, but they are coming from their own biased standpoints. I even heard of a study that concludes that pot isn't a gateway drug for many, but that is one study and it just seems like to me that it is a gateway drug to many. Maybe not the majority of those who get into it, but a gateway drug to very many nonetheless. Making weed legal might have our government acting as an enabler, giving many citizens the idea that getting into drug use in general is okay. Legalizing weed might help in some ways (less people going to overcrowded prisons), but it just might make the war on drugs harder for all drugs other than weed. And it might lead many people to get into abusing prescription pills, many of whom who may not have gotten into that if they didn't get into smoking pot. As soon as it is legalized, you'll probably see an increase in pot smoking immediately after and that might last for some years before it goes down. Getting stoned can be troublesome. Let's face it, many Americans are foolish. Drinking excessively, sleeping with strangers they just met, driving even though they are drunk. There are literally millions of Americans who make foolish decisions like these (the 'party hearty' type of bad decisions) on a consistent basis. This is part of what I meant when I was saying "Can Americans handle it if weed becomes legalized?".

I'm for decriminalization of pot, though. If for no reason other than helping with our overcrowded prison system. That is the reason I think it should be decriminalized. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be sold on decriminalizing it.
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