New Study Provides Further Evidence that Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug
[PJ] A new study looking at alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use among adolescents gives some interesting and helpful conclusions. Well, helpful conclusions if people will be willing to remove their cultural blinders concerning marijuana. Since the politically and culturally popular thing to do is to extol the virtues of the recreational use of marijuana, the study's sharp gateway-drug implications will most likely be a warning that is derided and unheeded.

Frankly, I don't really care if people smoke weed or not. To be clear, if asked, I'll warn against it. What bugs me, though, is that many who do choose to smoke weed deceive themselves (and others) about marijuana's potential for harm.

When I worked in a substance awareness program targeting eighth-graders, my co-workers and I could predict the pushback we would receive from the students: marijuana isn't addictive... marijuana doesn't cause any real, long-term, negative effects, blah, blah, blah.

While it's true that marijuana doesn't bring the same negative effects as, say, methamphetamine, it's not true that marijuana is completely devoid of any negative effects. For starters, it is addictive. Substances don't have to be physically addictive to be addictive. As my colleagues and I would tell the protesting students, shopping can be addictive.

A negative effect that comes from ingesting marijuana that many users (and non-users) scoff at is the drug's potential to be a gateway drug. However, the study linked to above concludes, "The implications of the more prominent role of marijuana in the early stages of drug use sequences are important to continue tracking."
Posted by: Besoeker 2018-12-01