The Most Abused Drug?

A comparison.

If you read any text book or go on to any government sponsored website it will tell you that the most abused drug in the world is cannabis, also known as marijuana.  The United States government has classified cannabis as a schedule 1 controlled substance. If you are wondering, a schedule 1 drug is a substance that has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Other schedule 1 substances include heroin and opium.

The problem is that marijuana has been given a bad reputation because of the government’s classification of it. There is new research being discovered that marijuana can be used medicinally and help patients who are going through chemo therapy or suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Marijuana also does not fit its unfair title because it is not addictive and therefore it cannot be abused. In fact, the official definition of drug abuse is the “habitual taking of addictive or illegal drugs.”

I would argue that the most abused drug in the United States, and even the world, is something that you are probably drinking right now: caffeine.

Caffeine is in coffee and coffee is in the hands of 50% of the world’s population, whereas only 2.5% of the world’s population smoke Marijuana. There is also no age limit on the sale of coffee or even soda in the U.S. There are millions of coffee shops, and personal coffee makers, in the world so you can get your caffeine kick anytime anywhere.

What some people don’t realize is that you can become very addicted to coffee like you can with cigarettes, you can even go through caffeine withdrawal. Some symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include headaches, sleepiness, irritability, constipation, lethargy, and sometimes even depression.

I think it is worth mentioning that there is no such thing as going through marijuana withdrawal, and any addiction to marijuana has to do with an unhealthy mental dependence on the substance that is a problem with the person and not the drug.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against coffee. I drink it occasionally because the caffeine wakes me up and it can help me stay focused and get work done. This is because caffeine is a stimulant: a drug that produces a temporary increase of the functional activity or efficiency of an organism. Other drugs that are considered stimulants are nicotine and cocaine. Marijuana is considered a psychoactive drug and the same way a person drinking coffee feels more awake and productive, marijuana makes the user have a sense of euphoria and feel relaxed.

I am of the opinion that times are changing and we will look back on this topic like we do with the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s, as being ridiculous. Cannabis is becoming more relevant both medicinally and recreationally, and like coffee I believe it has its place in our society.

(If you would like to learn more about medical marijuana I would suggest reading Emmy’s article)