By now, the “gateway” theory has been pretty well exploded. Data from the federal government shows that the most commonly used “first drug” is alcohol, not marijuana — and 40 percent of pot users never go onto other, harder drugs.
Even the scientist who coined the term “gateway theory” says it’s nicotine — not cannabis — that leads most users to try different, harder drugs. With all that data, you’d think it would be a cinch for law enforcement to finally catch the drift and admit that cannabis is not the path to a life of penury and drug addiction. But this is marijuana we’re talking about, which is why U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s embrace of facts and data is big news.
Speaking to a town hall meeting in Kentucky called during President Barack Obama’s “National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Week,” Lynch fingered prescription drugs as the cause behind the current opiate crisis. And when a high school student asked the AG about whether marijuana led to teens experimenting with Oxycontin and heroin, Lynch stayed on message.
“It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids,” she said. “It’s not as though we are seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway.”
This is consistent with current federal findings that states “the majority” of marijuana users never go onto harder drugs. But it’s in conflict with the rhetoric dispensed by anti-pot crusaders, including Donald Trump supporter Chris Christie, still the governor of New Jersey. And it’s still a major step forward for drug policy reform advocates, who will be dealing with decades of cultural brainwashing for years to come.
Evidence of how deeply the “pot can ruin your kids” message has permeated can be found even in legalization campaigns. Prop. 64, the California legalization measure — one of five recreational cannabis legalization measures on ballots this fall — puts extreme emphasis on “protecting children” in order to woo voters’ support. The idea is that pot is safer in the hands of registered businesses than it is with criminals like the cartel.
While that may be true, that also suggests that pot itself is dangerous — and you’ll notice that Lynch and Obama are not hosting a “marijuana epidemic awareness” week.
(h/t Mike Adams)
What do you think about the “gateway drug” theory?