The term “Gateway drug” usually pops up whenever anyone mutters the words “recreational marijuana”, “pot”, or “weed”, but does anyone really know what that term means anymore? Is anyone still considering marijuana a “gateway drug”? Apparently, more people than we know.
A new argument has surfaced, based on a new study finding that the age old thinking of recreational marijuana being a “gateway drug” just simply isn’t the case. Of course, some drug abusers are victims of experiencing some sort of gateway drug to get to where they are today, but this new study suggests it’s not marijuana to blame. The culprit actually sits on a shelf behind the bar at your local watering hole. That’s right, the insanely socially accepted substance, alcohol, is the prime suspect.
Using a sample from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, the study destroys the theory that recreational marijuana use will open doors to bigger and more destructive drugs, definitively proving that pot is not the primary factor of whether a person will move on to more dangerous substances. It’s no shock to anyone that alcohol is more addictive than THC, which has been proven (and argued) that it’s not addictive at all on a physical level. You could also argue that some alcohol abusers might try to seek out something stronger to quench their insatiable thirst, some even turning to rubbing alcohol like Nick Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.
In the last Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the CDC found that about 71% of American students have had consumed at least one alcoholic beverage in their lifetime. The same survey showed that at least 39% had an alcoholic drink within the last 30 days, and another study in the medical journal, Lancet, ranked alcohol as the most harmful drug of all. They had ranked alcohol above tobacco, cocaine, crack, and even heroin. On top of that, The Lancet study even showed that harm to others near the user were more than doubled those of drugs like heroin. That’s pretty compelling evidence considering recreational marijuana isn’t even on the list, in fact, it’s nowhere near it.
This report shows evidence that substance abuse behaviors can be predicted with a great degree of accuracy by closely studying a subject’s drug history. It shows that marijuana as the primary “gateway drug” to even more dangerous substances got out of hand because of its creators. Creators who conveniently called it the ‘Stepping Stone Hypothesis” in the 1930s. During the age of Reefer Madness, these people had misread the data and had completely failed to do a proper follow up. I wonder why? The latest form of the gateway theory is that it all begins with THC and then moves on to harder and more harmful drugs. According to this study, it confirms this hypothesis, but doesn’t show recreational marijuana as the frontrunner, but rather alcohol as the leading gateway drug.
Compelling evidence considering the fact that marijuana is still firmly planted into the minds of some people as being the “gateway drug” of the present, when in fact, it’s really just a theory from the past.