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Are Borderland residents substituting alcohol for marijuana? New studies show daily marijuana users outnumber daily alcohol users in the United States

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (KVIA) -- A new study says daily marijuana users in the United States now outnumber the daily number of alcohol users, a trend that is a reflection of current cannabis policy, according to the study.

ABC-7 spoke to Borderland residents to see how the legalization of marijuana in places like New Mexico has affected the individual daily consumption of this drug and if it has become an alternative to alcohol.

Sunny Pascual, a marijuana user in Sunland Park, believes marijuana has become an alternative for people seeking to replace alcohol due to the effects it can have on people.

“I also enjoy a little wine or a little alcohol, but the difference between the alcohol consumption long term, at least for me, is that alcohol is more depressive," said Pascual.

Adrian Donacio, another marijuana user, says, "I feel like alcohol really messes up your head. Really gives you more fog than anything else. Marijuana, it enhances certain emotions."

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, a public health professor at New Mexico State University, says trends like this one can be attributed to the legalization of marijuana, which has increased its popularity.

“We do go through these phases with legalization, public use, excessive consumption, social experimentation, and then with increasing public health awareness and more knowledge, this type of use maybe comes down or remains flat," said Khubchandani.

Pablo Duran, the owner of Field of Dreams dispensary, says around 80% of his clientele claim they use marijuana for medical reasons.

Duran told ABC-7 that the use of marijuana has increased significantly in previous years since there is less of a negative stigma against the use of this drug, which he says has impacted the economy of Sunland Park significantly.

Despite many of Duran's customers using marijuana for medical reasons, medical experts like Dr. Edward Michelson, professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at Texas Tech Health El Paso, say marijuana can still be dangerous like alcohol as it can pose risks to your health.

“For some people, it helps greatly with nausea. And we see that, for instance, in cancer patients. But there are definite effects on the brain. It can affect memory concentration. We also see some patients who have big problems with their gastrointestinal tract," said Dr. Michelson.

Dr. Michelson also told ABC-7 that people should still be aware that both alcohol and marijuana still pose a safety concern since they can increase the risk of a person being involved in a crash if either one is used before operating a vehicle.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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