Memo to Homeland Security: Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Science says so.
BY PAUL ARMENTANO,
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly alleges that marijuana is a “dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs.”
In fact, the available science concludes just the opposite.
More than half of American adults have tried cannabis, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. Statistically, the overwhelming majority of these individuals never go on to try another illicit substance, an empirical reality that persuaded investigators at the RAND Corporation to conclude, ”arijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.”
Moreover, by the time these individuals reach age 30, most of them have significantly decreased their cannabis use or no longer indulge in the substance at all.
Even more noteworthy is the reality that cannabis appears to act as a substitute or, in some cases, an exit drug for those struggling with drug abuse.