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Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

Learn if marijuana is a gateway drug in this Howcast video.


Next to the Reagan Era "Just Say No to Drugs," the gateway theory about marijuana I think is one of the relics that survived from reefer madness, and a comment that we hear repeated back to us in many forms in our culture. Some of you may remember Jack Nicholson in "Easy Rider" saying he didn't want to use marijuana because it leads to harder stuff.

Well, this theory of the gateway theory, the act of using marijuana will make you all of a sudden need heroin, cocaine or speed, is absolutely false. And in fact, it has been completely disproved actually through government spending. The use of marijuana does not in any way lead you to use other drugs.

Having said, there is a gateway around marijuana and there is a gateway to other illicit substances. And that is that, unless you're in a very specific state that has a medical marijuana law, if you need marijuana as medicine you're going to have to go to an illicit dealer. You're going to have to go to the illicit market to try to find this medicine. And often those dealer, unlike the medical cannabis dispensaries in various medical cannabis states, they don't just sell marijuana, they sell other things.

And so if you're there, you know, with a dealer, looking for marijuana, he may offer you another substance. And in that way, it is actually the laws around marijuana that are the gateway to other drugs, not marijuana itself.

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