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Experts debate whether marijuana is a 'gateway' drug

neversickanymore

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Experts debate whether marijuana is a 'gateway' drug
By: Ron Snyder

BALTIMORE - Among the issues expected to generate the most buzz in Annapolis during the 2014 General Assembly session is whether marijuana should be legalized, or at least decriminalized.
Washington and Colorado have already passed legislation making the drug legal for recreational use, and supporters of the issue are using similar strategies in Maryland to expand their cause into the Free State.

One of the biggest points being argued in the marijuana debate is whether pot should be considered a “gateway drug;” a drug which leads users to branch out into more dangerous substances such as cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project , which advocated for legalization, said there is no evidence that associates pot use with other drugs.
Go behind the scenes with those working to legalize marijuana in Maryland | WATCH ABC2 News @ 6 p.m.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, 107 million Americans – more than 40 percent of the U.S. population born since 1960 – have tried marijuana, yet only 37 million have tried heroin and less than 0.1 percent of Americans have used either of the latter two in the last month.

“The bottom line is there is no causal relationship between marijuana use and other drugs,” said Morgan Fox, a Marijuana Policy Project spokesman. “Research has shown there is nothing in the chemical make-up of marijuana which would lead to a greater chance of using harder drugs.”
Fox said marijuana being illegal is the real gateway. That’s because those who want marijuana need to seek out illegal drug dealers, who often have a supply of dangerous drugs and are looking for ways to expand their market.
“When you go to a liquor store for a bottle of wine, there isn’t a person there trying to sell you cocaine or other dangerous products. An illegal narcotics dealer has incentive to push dangerous drugs.”
Long-time substance abuse expert Mike Gimbel said he agrees that marijuana use does not lead to a chemical dependence for that or other drugs, but can open a “social gateway” which in turn leads to more illicit drug use.

“Yes there is no proof that anyone who uses marijuana moves on to other drugs because they build a tolerance to it like alcohol or cigarettes in which they need either more of a product or something stronger to get their fix,” Gimbel said.

“But, 80 percent of addiction is due to environment. So, especially for children, if they are exposed to an environment where people are drinking or smoking pot, they are much more likely to enter a world where they can find drugs like heroin or cocaine. So, I consider marijuana a social gateway drug.”
Stacey Sugar is the clinical director at the Towson-based Maryland Addiction Recovery Network.

Sugar said that while there are many studies that deny marijuana use causes a person to use other illicit substances, many people she has treated for substance abuse issues have used marijuana.
Sugar believes marijuana could be a gateway drug for some, but not everyone, and that a lot depends on the user and whether they are predisposed to addiction. She added that marijuana is the easiest drug to get a hold of after alcohol and cigarettes, and some of those who like a marijuana high may be more interested in trying other highs.

“My main concern is what the marijuana use may be potentially masking, and my job is to assist a person to identify and fill that emotional void without a substance,” Sugar said. “Whether marijuana is legal or not, it is still addictive, and people commonly have trouble controlling their use and are unable to stop even when it leads to significant consequences in their lives.”


Read more: http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/he...her-marijuana-is-a-gateway-drug#ixzz2tYh3XWgf
 

neversickanymore

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I let everyone in on it, at least those who who dont already know, the people who are responsible for any "gateway" tendencies of marijuana.. are the people who classify it with "bad" and far more dangerous drugs.. the ones who spread the endless lies and propaganda about it.. you see people aren't dumb.. so when they try grass and realize you guys are totally full of shit they just assume that all the talk about other drugs is nonsense as well.. the old OMG if they are claiming grass is SOOOOO bad they must be full shit on it all. You losse you credibility when you are so clearly not credible.
 

_DankOpiAmp_

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Many people she has treated for substance abuse have probably watched a movie too. I wonder what that is masking? That pretentious cunt is advertising another profit driven recovery agency.
 

teological

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I let everyone in on it, at least those who who dont already know, the people who are responsible for any "gateway" tendencies of marijuana.. are the people who classify it with "bad" and far more dangerous drugs.. the ones who spread the endless lies and propaganda about it.. you see people aren't dumb.. so when they try grass and realize you guys are totally full of shit they just assume that all the talk about other drugs is nonsense as well.. the old OMG if they are claiming grass is SOOOOO bad they must be full shit on it all. You losse you credibility when you are so clearly not credible.

Could not be more true. Once I figured out all the lies, if they started to tell me that Heroin is NOT addicting, I would believe that! All credibility flushed down the drain by the time I hit my late teens.

So how about alcohol? My first drug experience was alcohol, that basically awoke my drug senses and was curious about what other substances could do. Or is alcohol not counted as a drug since everyone drinks it and it is legal?
 

Foreigner

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Not sure if I even take gateway drug theory seriously at this point. It sort of takes responsibility away from the user by implying that they were lead by the hand down a road based on the influence of the substance itself, instead of their choice to keep getting high. In my personal life, most of the addicts I met started out as alcoholics and when it was no longer feasible they moved on to other kinds of impulsive substance abuse. But I also know that there are many RX drug users who transition to stronger street varieties... so who is to say?

To me, the "gateway" comes down to your mentality and not any particular substance.
 

Jabberwocky

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I cannot take the "gateway drug" theory seriously. It has always been a choice for me, at the end of the day, as to what I put in my body.

Is water a "gateway drink" to cordial?
 

pmoseman

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I think whatever reason people have for choosing to use marijuana, real world imperfect logic, it also works for choosing other drugs.

Dealers that change to dealing harder drugs go to their old customers.That is their best chance for a sale or to get the word out.

These series of effects do not apply to alcohol, but if the gateway is true for any drugs, do dealers target bars?
 
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_DankOpiAmp_

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Yes they do target bars in fact. Coke is sold in British bars quite often (and likely in other countries I just heard about there). Yaba is also often sold in Thai bars. It is a meeting place for them I seedy areas.

What you are talking about is the result of prohibition, not weed. Legalization would solve this problem. Nothing inherent to cannabis as a drug makes it a gateway.
 

Roger&Me

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you see people aren't dumb.. so when they try grass and realize you guys are totally full of shit they just assume that all the talk about other drugs is nonsense as well.. the old OMG if they are claiming grass is SOOOOO bad they must be full shit on it all. You losse you credibility when you are so clearly not credible.

lol that's actually an example of why people are dumb. to say "they're lying about one thing, so they must be lying about everything" is the logical fallacy falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus.
 

neversickanymore

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What do you mean rodger.. grass is good.. all you have to look at is that the ocean is large.. therefore grass is good.. if you were to say that grass is bad you'd be saying the ocean is small.. everybody knows the ocean is large.

How about this for you..

Telling lies increases questions of credibility
Questions of credibility increase scepticism of what is claimed by a government
Scepticism of what is claimed by a government increases the amount of times people choose to disregard what the government says.

Therefore telling lies increases the amount of times people choose to disregard what the government says.

Seems pretty logical to me.. but pmoseman is sure to check and recheck it.
 

Roger&Me

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Telling lies increases questions of credibility
Questions of credibility increase scepticism of what is claimed by a government
Scepticism of what is claimed by a government increases the amount of times people choose to disregard what the government says.

that says nothing about the individual claims, though. just because somebody lies about one thing, does not mean that you can assume they're lying about everything. you would have to investigate each individual claim separately. it is fallacious to assume that an initial false statement is a prelude to the making of more false statements. each statement must be evaluated on its own merit.

like i said in my previous post, it is a logical fallacy called falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus
 

RedLeader

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I don't think your average 15 year old is really prepared for logical fallacies, though. And these are the people who are doing heroin because they realise that authority lied to them about weed. This is what angers me about the whole "trust your government" thing. Sometimes you do have to remember the children! ;)
 

One Thousand Words

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But heroin is addictive and more often than not will lead you to a life of ruin. The government also tells me to wear my seat belt, plenty of dumb people refuse to wear them too.

Weed is definitely a social gateway, or perhaps a stepping stone. Some kids don't even drink, they choose to dedicate their life to sobriety and fill it with other things. If your circle of friends all smoke weed eventually someone will eventual come to the partiy with pills or mushrooms or coke.
 

LSDiesel

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The illegality factor of weed sometimes provided me with a very private way of obtaining product and keeping the habit a secret back when I was very young. My dealer was also very young, just 2 years older than me in high school. I bought from him always just the two of us, never around anyone else, and I kept it a secret from everyone for quite a while, eventually letting the secret out amongst friends. But I never had to go to a "drug area" or walk in and out of a liquor store(and possibly be seen). The privacy and clandestine nature of marijuana being illegal allowed me as a teenager to mask my habit better. Had I needed to walk into a store, I might not have been able to keep it a secret, especially if my parents friends/peers were also browsing in the store. Young kids stick out like sore thumb in a liquor store (and a weed store for that matter also).

Had weed been legal I could've probably gotten some 21 year old to buy me weed from a store the way kids to with alcohol today, but it would be dependent on another person, and would probably not really work for more than 50% of the time I desired to obtain pot since what 21 year old wants to stop everything they are doing to go get drugs for younger teens, on a repeat basis, especially if you're not really even getting much out of it?

I might have not even been able to do that, since I was kinda socially awkward at that age, especially before I took my first dose of MDMA. My MDMA experience gave me a new confidence to be able to talk a lot more openly and gregariously and has stuck ever since.

I didn't try to do that with alcohol when I was a teen. I disliked alcohol and considered it a shit buzz compared to pot and especially LSD (tried at 14!), so I never sought out to get beers or liquor as a high school teenager. Personally for me, it probably worked out to my benefit during those years that pot was illegal because it allowed me to keep the usage very private. The prohibition made it easier for me to obtain most likely but we can never know that for sure.

I love pot, but I think maybe I should've waited until after high school to get really used to doing it on a somewhat regular basis.

Pot should be legalized. It baffles me that this is even a question.
 
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neversickanymore

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Weed is definitely a social gateway, or perhaps a stepping stone. Some kids don't even drink, they choose to dedicate their life to sobriety and fill it with other things. If your circle of friends all smoke weed eventually someone will eventual come to the partiy with pills or mushrooms or coke.

This must be true for alcohol too?.. but if it isn't then why not?
 
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