The Real Gateway Drugs Conveniently Ignored by the Media
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/26/2014 in Medical Marijuana Research
We have all heard from people supporting prohibition of the fallacy of the “cannabis gateway drug theory”. They claim that people who smoke marijuana will naturally progress to harder drugs however they conveniently forget to mention that cannabis is NOT the first drugs kids tend to use.
Cannabis usually tends to be the first “illegal drug” they use however remains 4th in the list of the drugs they use. If we were to look at the “Gateway theory” a bit closer we begin to see that cannabis is not the culprit.
Alcohol is the most abused drug by teens with over 26% of 12 graders reporting having gotten drunk in the past month. Yet you don’t hear proponents of prohibition calling alcohol a gateway drug. They would rather sweep this statistic under the rug and pretend that it never occurred.
Usually when it comes to “trying a new substance” tobacco follows closely behind. Lately, cannabis use surpassed the use of tobacco. The main decline in the use of tobacco has been due to effective educational campaigns outlining the dangers of smoking. Currently tobacco consumption among teens are the lowest it has ever been, yet we didn’t have to jail them for it, simply educate them.
Prescription drugs are also a favorite among teens. They usually get this from their parents medicine cabinets and use Adderall, Vicodin, Cough Medicines, Sedatives, Oxycontin and Ritalin. Not only is it very easy for kids to obtain these drugs, the odds of them getting hooked on it is greatly increased due to their developing brains and the pleasure response mechanisms altered by the use of the drug.
Finally, cannabis comes into the picture. This is the first illegal drug these kids usually turn to. It is readily available due to prohibition since dealers don’t card. The public perception surrounding cannabis also has somewhat of an influence however over time teen use drops significantly post legalization.
To call Cannabis a gateway drug and to ignore all of the other drugs in the equation is irrational. The entire concept of the “gateway theory” is irrational. It essentially depicts the human being as a pleasure seeking hedonist without any control over their own body. It assumes that the moment you taste the sweet nectar of cannabis, you will always need to get higher.
However, if this is true for cannabis…why isn’t it true for any other drug on this list? Why is it that a cannabis high will want you to get higher but being stoned drunk will maintain your desire for “getting high” in check?
The answer is simple…it doesn’t work that way! People who smoke cannabis usually wean off other drugs and stick to cannabis. There is no desire to “get higher” than you already are.
This isn’t to say that some people do follow these trends however these people are demographically considered “people with a high potential to get addicted”. These are people with a pre-disposition for substance abuse and to blanket everyone else under this rhetoric would be like saying “All alcohol consumers are violent” which simply isn’t true.