Alcohol is still a drug, exactly the same as every other drug. It affects your brain, it gets you "high," and it has terrible side effects like addiction. I don't see how "this is just how things are" is a very good argument either. Alcohol has a relationship with humans because of how it is made: literally just fruit and grains that have gone bad. If another drug was as easy to make and available to every human society on Earth, then it would have become part of our culture too.
Weed is different because it only existed in China for most of it's history, and with a very low-THC content, requiring you to smoke a lot of it to get any kind of pleasurable high. Opium came close, derivatives are still used as medicine (morphine), but it also comes from a specific region meaning it isn't a part of global culture.
It is absolutely hypocrisy that we celebrate alcohol consumption but ban something as relatively harmless as marijuana. Society just doesn't want to admit it was wrong yet, but it will.