Dank or Drank: Can Alcohol Hang on with Cannabis Legalization?

You might hear people say that if cannabis is legalized, alcohol will suffer tremendously. Some think people will choose to consume cannabis vs. alcohol simply for the health benefits. With cannabis legalization cultivating momentum across North America, I guess it’s about time to find out.

Wait, medical cannabis has been legal in California for 22 years and in Canada for 17. Did the alcohol industry suffer there because of this? Now that cannabis is legal in Canada and readily available, did Canadians quit drinking?

With cannabis legal in Las Vegas, Nevada, everyone must be smoking pot and eating edibles instead of drinking, right?

These would all be great assumptions. Only, that isn’t what seems to be happening.

Examining Alcohol and Cannabis Stats

In 2016, Canadians spent roughly $22.1 billion on alcohol. In 2017, according to Stats Canada, Canadians spent $5.7 billion on cannabis. It would seem, that by these stats, alcohol still has nothing to worry about in Canada. It’s not just Canada that still loves booze, folks in the U.S. can’t get enough of the stuff either.

Per data reviewed by Park Street, the largest markets for alcohol in the U.S. are New York, Florida, and yes, wait for it…California. I would have thought Texas would have made it due to the size of the state alone. Alcoholic beverages account for 60% of the revenues, $211.6 bn in sales from the U.S. beverage market, which is a $354.2bn industry!

Looks like alcohol doesn’t have anything to worry about to me.

Alcohol sales may see a slight drop, but they will make up for that with minor price hikes and increased availability of buying booze. California is looking to pass a law allowing alcohol sales to continue for two extra hours going till 4 am rather than the current 2 am last call.

“California’s existing marijuana black market is worth roughly $13.5 billion, while the legal market is expected to earn $5.1 billion in 2018.”- Newsweek

That’s what, $18.6 billion dollars collectively? When those numbers are reversed then cannabis has affected alcohol. Booze is still worth hundreds of billions of dollars globally! Cannabis will get there but I’d be willing to say it becomes a shared market.

As positive cannabis reform laws are set in place more place will be able to establish a good foundation for working together into the future. I attend many functions where alcohol is served. Cannabis is consumed, drinks are had, and fun is abundant.

While at an event I overheard someone talking about the effects of THC being made stronger by alcohol. This was a respected doctor referencing the thinning of the blood during alcohol consumption. It made sense. I had to investigate it more.

What If Alcohol Made Weed Work Better?

That doctor appears to have been right. The American Association of Clinical Chemistry states that “THC blood concentrations increase significantly with alcohol consumption”. This could explain why, when I’m drinking at home, and smoke a fatty, I get tired not long after. It makes perfect sense since weed helps the stomach and relaxes the body.

Perhaps the reason so many turn to a doobie, blunt, or bowl after drinking is to simply give themselves a chance of feeling better. I’ve seen people in rehab. I was court-ordered to attend rehab for weed in the mid 90’s. It was embarrassing as people were like weed, really? I told them I was court-ordered to be here and even they were pissed.

Cannabis is not the gateway drug it’s been made out to be. Cannabis is an exit drug for many who suffer from toxic addictions. If you like to toss back a few brews, shots, cocktails, or glasses of wine but hate the way you feel the next day, you just may, want to reach for your weed instead of that next drink first. Alcohol in moderation like many other things can be good for you. Knowing when to say when can be a bit trickier than weed at times.

Everyone who supports cannabis legalization is a seed. All it takes is a single seed to tip the scales of injustice in favor of the people. Could you be that seed?

I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about alcohol and cannabis? Do you think they compliment each other? Do you find you only want one or the other or do you like to mix them both? Let’s make our own stats in this comment thread. Drop your thoughts below. Even if it’s only a line or so.


Article courtesy of Expert Joints. Written by JamesP from CannaLance (