Exploring How I
Unknowingly Became Bias to Alcohol

 As
thoughts ran through my mind of me finding out that I had just lost my recent
boyfriend to gun violence, I was rolling up my first joint in the backseat of
my best friend’s car. Paranoia, uncertainty, and nervousness were the feelings
that came over my body. At that point the only feeling that I had wanted to
feel was the euphoric feeling, I was told you get when you hit your first
joint. As I began to smoke, a feeling came over me like no other. It was a
feeling that I couldn’t grasp but yet, it was a feeling that made me feel
relaxed, levitated and well aware of my being. I was skeptical at first because
of the one-sided stories and the scare tactics that people used to deter you
from 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.

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Coming from a family of drinkers, liquor
was always accessible in the house. Growing up I was able to sneak some
whenever, and when I did I remembered1      `
that taste. It was a taste that would follow me once I became an adult and
began my journey in adulthood. The first time I ever became drunk was the
unbeknownst beginning of my bias against liquor and my gravitation towards
marijuana. 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” someone
could get. In addition to, the fact that alcohol effects myself as well as
others in shocking different ways. Alcohol wouldn’t allow me to be myself like
marijuana did. While marijuana enhanced my natural state of being, alcohol
immobile that feeling.

    For
this assignment I was asked to interview someone with an opposing opinion of my
bias 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 valid
outlook on marijuana and alcohol than your normal civilian. Shcora also
informed me that she was very familiar with Marijuana being that her mother
smoked in the house growing up as well as her daughter smokes today. With facts
and opinions, I felt as though she would be the ideal candidate to challenge my
belief. While interviewing Shcora, I was able to recant the story I told and it
only reinforced my bias was a very valid one. As I challenged Shcora’s
viewpoints on her opposing beliefs, I came to my conclusion that her opposing bias
had a great argument as well. However, after interviewing Shcora, who
challenged 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 interview
because she grew up around marijuana as well as she chose a profession that
held laws against marijuana. She had a two-sided view of marijuana being that
she was around it yet against it. With that being said, I was able to question Shcora
about how she felt then about her mom smoking in the house she grew up in, as
well as to how she feels now knowing her daughter engages in smoking. It also
allowed me to explore the facts of what might’ve made her gravitate towards her
chosen profession. I had intended on asking Shcora about her own experiences
with Alcohol influence being that she does drink occasionally and how that
affected her bias against marijuana. It was important for me to not only gather
the facts about Shcora’s experiences as well as those around her that may have
had influence on her choices. With all of my drinking encounters ending up
intoxication beyond my control, had led to me obtain this bias that Marijuana
is safer than Alcohol as well.

            During this interview, I had asked Shcora
if she ever knew someone who caused a fatal accident or who was in a fatal
accident because of the influence of marijuana. It was at this moment when she
explained to me of a young man who nearly committed suicide after he consumed a
hit of marijuana. She explained “There was a 22-year-old young man that was a
friend 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…. It
wasn’t until he got back to work where he started to feel the effects of his
influence; which therefore caused him to proceed to the roof his job where he
attempted suicide…. It was deemed that the weed he had smoked may have been
laced therefore causing him to act under this influence to harm himself.”
(Grayson) This surprised me because I actually never knew someone acted out
like this due to marijuana. Although, I had heard rumors and stories of it
actually being laced, it never hit so close to home for me. It was an eye
opener because although there were proven facts about alcohol and its harmful effects
I was bias to the fact that there were still harmful side effects to marijuana
as well. She made it clear that just like alcohol, marijuana can affect one
individual different from the next. In which, it could cause someone to act
irrationally therefore, potentially they could harm themselves or someone.

In addition, when
I asked Shcora about the benefits of marijuana remaining illegal rather than
normalize it, she also surprised me with an outlook I never considered. She
gave me several answers but this one stuck out to me the most. “The benefits of
weed being illegal are that the accessibility would be minimized rather than be
accessible at all times. Being illegal it would still be considered a
controlled substance 1 drug as well as a black-market drug therefore deeming it
harder to get.” (Grayson) It dawned on me at this point that Shcora didn’t look
at the fact that Alcohol was prevalent everywhere; yet, she felt differently
about 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 epidemic
if normalized. While I continued my interview, Shcora also stated after
questioning that “Out of all the legal drugs today (opioids, alcohol and
tobacco) all three of these substances could potentially put someone at risk
for getting hurt or hurting others.” (Grayson) I couldn’t understand that how
could she consider these drugs acceptable knowing these drugs have all been
proven to be fatal if consumed. It was at this moment in my interview that I
understood exactly why and how I came up with this bias. My bias on marijuana
being safer than alcohol became that much stronger after my interview.

After
interviewing Shcora, I thought my bias would have been open for change.
However, after analyzing quotes from the interview and my thoughts about Shcora’s
opposing view, I came to a conclusion that my bias may not be true for some but
it is still of value to me. I still hold strongly to my belief because I still
believe that alcohol has killed, harmed and injured many more people than
marijuana ever could. There have been facts proven on alcohol and its deadly
effects but rarely if ever, on marijuana. As I read articles on marijuana and the
harsh views against it, I found this fascinating quote written by an
Administrative Law Judge that relates to my bias. “Marijuana in its natural
form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…. By
any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a
supervised routine of care….” (Young)

In conclusion,
after stating my bias, interviewing Shcora and understanding the choice of my
bias, I can honestly say I still believe Marijuana is safer than Alcohol. Even
though I challenged my bias and I questioned it with opposing views, the
information received was not enough for me to give up my bias. While some
interesting facts were brought to my attention as well, that was not enough for
me 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. Perhaps
if we can shift our thinking and instead of taking sides, we can all agree that
alcohol and marijuana both have risk factors. However, with facts and feelings I
find 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 of
Marijuana Rescheduling Petition”. 6 September 1988.

 

 

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