Exploring How IUnknowingly Became Bias to Alcohol Asthoughts ran through my mind of me finding out that I had just lost my recentboyfriend to gun violence, I was rolling up my first joint in the backseat ofmy best friend’s car. Paranoia, uncertainty, and nervousness were the feelingsthat came over my body.
At that point the only feeling that I had wanted tofeel was the euphoric feeling, I was told you get when you hit your firstjoint. As I began to smoke, a feeling came over me like no other. It was afeeling that I couldn’t grasp but yet, it was a feeling that made me feelrelaxed, levitated and well aware of my being. I was skeptical at first becauseof the one-sided stories and the scare tactics that people used to deter youfrom this “drug”. However, it wasn’t until I experienced this feeling for myself;in which I began to educate myself on this particular thing many called a drug.
Coming from a family of drinkers, liquorwas always accessible in the house. Growing up I was able to sneak somewhenever, and when I did I remembered1 `that taste. It was a taste that would follow me once I became an adult andbegan my journey in adulthood. The first time I ever became drunk was theunbeknownst beginning of my bias against liquor and my gravitation towardsmarijuana. I didn’t like the uncontrollable feeling I had after 2 mixed drinks.I didn’t like the fact that with alcohol there were no limits to how “drunk” someonecould get. In addition to, the fact that alcohol effects myself as well asothers in shocking different ways. Alcohol wouldn’t allow me to be myself likemarijuana did.
While marijuana enhanced my natural state of being, alcoholimmobile that feeling. Forthis assignment I was asked to interview someone with an opposing opinion of mybias on marijuana being safer than alcohol. I chose my neighbor Shcora Grayson,a retired Police officer to interview for this assignment for many reasons.Being a police officer, I felt Shcora had a very different standard and validoutlook on marijuana and alcohol than your normal civilian. Shcora alsoinformed me that she was very familiar with Marijuana being that her mothersmoked in the house growing up as well as her daughter smokes today.
With factsand opinions, I felt as though she would be the ideal candidate to challenge mybelief. While interviewing Shcora, I was able to recant the story I told and itonly reinforced my bias was a very valid one. As I challenged Shcora’sviewpoints on her opposing beliefs, I came to my conclusion that her opposing biashad a great argument as well. However, after interviewing Shcora, whochallenged my bias belief that Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and Although,many valid points were made; I still hold strongly to my belief.Shcora was the ideal candidate for my interviewbecause she grew up around marijuana as well as she chose a profession thatheld laws against marijuana. She had a two-sided view of marijuana being thatshe was around it yet against it. With that being said, I was able to question Shcoraabout how she felt then about her mom smoking in the house she grew up in, aswell as to how she feels now knowing her daughter engages in smoking.
It alsoallowed me to explore the facts of what might’ve made her gravitate towards herchosen profession. I had intended on asking Shcora about her own experienceswith Alcohol influence being that she does drink occasionally and how thataffected her bias against marijuana. It was important for me to not only gatherthe facts about Shcora’s experiences as well as those around her that may havehad influence on her choices. With all of my drinking encounters ending upintoxication beyond my control, had led to me obtain this bias that Marijuanais safer than Alcohol as well. During this interview, I had asked Shcoraif she ever knew someone who caused a fatal accident or who was in a fatalaccident because of the influence of marijuana. It was at this moment when sheexplained to me of a young man who nearly committed suicide after he consumed ahit of marijuana. She explained “There was a 22-year-old young man that was afriend of the family who was in college, and working who seemed to be normal.However, one day he went on break at work and went for a smoke break….
Itwasn’t until he got back to work where he started to feel the effects of hisinfluence; which therefore caused him to proceed to the roof his job where heattempted suicide…. It was deemed that the weed he had smoked may have beenlaced therefore causing him to act under this influence to harm himself.”(Grayson) This surprised me because I actually never knew someone acted outlike this due to marijuana. Although, I had heard rumors and stories of itactually being laced, it never hit so close to home for me. It was an eyeopener because although there were proven facts about alcohol and its harmful effectsI was bias to the fact that there were still harmful side effects to marijuanaas well.
She made it clear that just like alcohol, marijuana can affect oneindividual different from the next. In which, it could cause someone to actirrationally therefore, potentially they could harm themselves or someone. In addition, whenI asked Shcora about the benefits of marijuana remaining illegal rather thannormalize it, she also surprised me with an outlook I never considered. Shegave me several answers but this one stuck out to me the most.
“The benefits ofweed being illegal are that the accessibility would be minimized rather than beaccessible at all times. Being illegal it would still be considered acontrolled substance 1 drug as well as a black-market drug therefore deeming itharder to get.” (Grayson) It dawned on me at this point that Shcora didn’t lookat the fact that Alcohol was prevalent everywhere; yet, she felt differentlyabout its abundance. It was okay for alcohol to be sold in every neighborhood,a known “drug” to inhibit one’s ability but marijuana was deemed to become an epidemicif normalized. While I continued my interview, Shcora also stated afterquestioning that “Out of all the legal drugs today (opioids, alcohol andtobacco) all three of these substances could potentially put someone at riskfor getting hurt or hurting others.” (Grayson) I couldn’t understand that howcould she consider these drugs acceptable knowing these drugs have all beenproven to be fatal if consumed. It was at this moment in my interview that Iunderstood exactly why and how I came up with this bias. My bias on marijuanabeing safer than alcohol became that much stronger after my interview.
Afterinterviewing Shcora, I thought my bias would have been open for change.However, after analyzing quotes from the interview and my thoughts about Shcora’sopposing view, I came to a conclusion that my bias may not be true for some butit is still of value to me. I still hold strongly to my belief because I stillbelieve that alcohol has killed, harmed and injured many more people thanmarijuana ever could.
There have been facts proven on alcohol and its deadlyeffects but rarely if ever, on marijuana. As I read articles on marijuana and theharsh views against it, I found this fascinating quote written by anAdministrative Law Judge that relates to my bias. “Marijuana in its naturalform is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…. Byany measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within asupervised routine of care….” (Young)In conclusion,after stating my bias, interviewing Shcora and understanding the choice of mybias, I can honestly say I still believe Marijuana is safer than Alcohol.
Eventhough I challenged my bias and I questioned it with opposing views, theinformation received was not enough for me to give up my bias. While someinteresting facts were brought to my attention as well, that was not enough forme go against my proof and my belief. From crime rates, to overdoses, to DUI’s,alcohol has proven it’s many damaging effects over time and time again. Perhapsif we can shift our thinking and instead of taking sides, we can all agree thatalcohol and marijuana both have risk factors.
However, with facts and feelings Ifind it inevitable to see which one has been proven to be safer than the other. Grayson,Shcora. Exploring How I Unknowingly Became Bias to Alcohol. 17 January 2018.Young,Francis. “Ruling in the Matter ofMarijuana Rescheduling Petition”.
6 September 1988.