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Alcohol: the real gateway drug

By Oscar Pascual |

Presidential hopeful Chris Christie recently made clear his stance against the legalization of marijuana, putting forward every Drug Warrior’s favorite argument against marijuana.

“Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have a huge addiction problem in this country,” Christie told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. “We need to send very clear leadership from the White House down through federal law enforcement.”

Prove you can’t move Reefer Madness As a cliche, Christie joins fellow anti-cannabis politician, Boston mayor Marty Walsh, and even the kids’ school program DARE as the latest to implement the widely used and debunked “Gateway Theory” argument against legalization.

The website Treatment4Addiction.com recently analyzed data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and found that alcohol is the drug most people use first before trying others, as 88 percent of people have never tried another substance. before they drank.

By comparison, only 19 percent of people say cannabis is the first drug they’ve tried.

Even the federal anti-drug organization the National Institute on Drug Abuse doesn’t believe marijuana is a gateway drug.

“Most people who use marijuana don’t use other, ‘harder’ drugs,” NIDA states on its website.

The reason why the gateway theory just won’t go away is the addiction itself.

“Those who work in the vast profession of addiction treatment have been particularly invested in keeping the gateway theory credible, as the majority of their treatment patients are marijuana users,” Miriam Boeri, associate professor of sociology at Bentley University, wrote in a recent piece. published on TheConversation.com. “Their jobs depend on a belief in addiction as a disease and on the fact that marijuana is an addictive drug.”

Despite the idea that cannabis leads to addiction, studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that medical marijuana can be a harmful alternative to heroin and other opioids that can lead to potentially fatal overdoses.

“Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower opioid death rates at the state level. Further research is needed to determine how medical cannabis legislation may interact with policies aimed at preventing opioid analgesics overdose,” the study concluded.

Photo credit: Pixgood.com

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