Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
It is time for politicians to put to rest the myth that cannabis is a gateway to the use of other controlled substances — a theory that is neither supported by modern science or empirical data.
Over 60 percent of American adults acknowledge having tried cannabis, but the overwhelming majority of these individuals never go on to try another illicit substance. Further, nothing in marijuana’s chemical composition alters the brain in a manner that makes users more susceptible to experimenting with other drugs. That’s why both the esteemed Institute of Medicine and the Rand Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Center conclude that “[M]arijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.”
In contrast, a growing body of evidence now exists to support the counter notion that for many people, pot serves as a path away from the use of more dangerous substances, including opioids, alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, and