For more than a century, prohibitionists have been spreading wild lies about the long-term health risks and short-term effects of consuming even one hit of the evil marijuana plant. This all in an attempt to curb weed use. Even today, lobbyists and lawmakers continue to believe the false gateway theory, but now evidence can finally lay to rest unfounded fears of homelessness and addiction.
Researchers from the State University of New York, New Paltz published an extensive report recently. Appropriately titled “The Marijuana Gateway Phenomenon,” the recent paper highlights marijuana’s outlawed history and the treachery detractors used to force their racially motivated agenda of cannabis prohibition over the decades.
Without a single real social or medical danger, famous personalities from Chris Christie to Nancy Reagan and every period between have instead spewed wild imaginings of violent, heavy drug use and fake consequences to instill fear and advance their goals. They have relied on nothing but fantasies to force prohibition on the masses and, of course, insane amounts of money to spread their propaganda.
According to the report, “From the 1970s onward, national anti-drug programs and like efforts implicating marijuana proliferated, but were all unsupported by research. As no serious harmful effects could be cited to justify these effects, it became necessary to present marijuana as a gateway drug that ultimately leads to the use of harsher substances.”
During this time, it was near impossible to conduct any sort of comprehensive research. This is because people accepted those lies blindly for decades and because scientists may not study federally illegal drugs under national law. Researchers now say that the gateway drug myth has caused society exponentially more harm than the actual cannabis plant itself.
“Maintaining this myth not only wastes resources, but actually harms numerous individuals, primarily members of minority groups who are being criminalized,” one of the four co-authors of the paper, Eve Waltermaurer said, “ Energy which could be better applied toward reducing the truly harmful opioid epidemic is, instead, spent on a fool’s errand.”
Despite numerous studies showing clearly that medical cannabis is actually a significant contributor to lowering rates of opioid addiction, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to blame legalized marijuana for escalating opioid overdose rates rampaging through the country. The report delves into the details of the gateway drug myth, and explains very clearly its origins and continued persistence.
Nonetheless, Waltermaurer and the paper’s other three co-authors remain pessimistic about their work ending the widely cited fantasy, an in-your-face reminder about the never-ending resistance still plaguing marijuana law reform today and preventing people from accessing effective medical treatment or using it for recreational purposes, which is well within their basic human rights.
The report concludes by saying, “Facts have their limits. In this, as in other highly controversial areas, they can inform policy makers, but do not assure the adoption of fact-based public policy. As long as people and the public officials they elect have a political stake in them, myths such as the history of the marijuana gateway fallacy hang on.”
In fact, here are some facts to debunk the gateway theory even further:
Lack of Evidence
No evidence exists anywhere even hinting that cannabis may be a gateway drug. Authorities even admit it, on record. All previous conclusions are nothing but assumptive. Real science does not make assumptions and cannot claim that trying one substance or another precedes hard drug use. Scholars call this assumptive thinking fallacious and even have a name for it: Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Marijuana Treats Addiction
Cannabis is actually an exit drug, according to research conducted by the University of British Columbia in 2016. Findings suggest that using marijuana can help those addicted to illicit or potentially harmful drugs, such as alcohol and opioid prescriptions. Weed can ease the withdrawal process and relieve related symptoms. It also treats the underlying problem in many cases, such as PTSD and depression.
Official Websites Removing Lies
Misleading claims about marijuana being dangerous and a gateway drug are disappearing from official websites. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s site, in particular, is making claims that are more accurate these days, such as “marijuana does not cause long-term brain damage or psychosis,” and even this little snippet, “The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug.”
Correlation Is Not Causation
It is a scientific fact that correlation does not prove causation. Just because something has an association with something else does not mean it caused it. Wild claims such as, “weed smokers are 104 times more likely to use heroin than those who have never tried it,” does not make pot the cause. Autism rates are higher despite more people eating organically, but we cannot blame the healthy food.
Alcohol a Real Gateway
The Brian C. Bennet Drug Charts, created by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Public Policy, provide a thorough analysis of the use patterns of “alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, crack cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, LSD, marijuana, MDMA, methamphetamines, non-medical prescription pills, non-medical prescription painkillers, OxyContin, PCP, sedatives, stimulants, and tranquilizers.”
The Bennet Charts provide the most comprehensive data available today on all of these substances. As Medical Daily says, they “show that alcohol causes significantly more personal and social damage than any other substance, and marijuana’s reputation as a ‘gateway’ drug is not supported. Interestingly, traumatic childhood experience, mental illness, and economic security are more telling predictors of substance abuse than the availability of the drugs.”
As with other drugs, people use marijuana for a variety of reasons and environmental factors. Using weed does not mean that they will start using harder drugs. For them, cannabis is their drug of choice where others prefer cocaine, heroin, or prescription pills. Where it concerns marijuana, the gateway theory is frankly nonsense, and alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and medicines are more likely the real suspects.
Facts to debunk the gateway theory are well described.