In a recent article for The Daily Caller, Professor of Psychology at SUNY Albany, Mitch Earleywine, takes of the “gateway theory” on marijuana and details how addictive marijuana really is.
And to do this, he simply uses the research that is already available. Saying there has never been a study that puts the rate of marijuana “dependence” on the same level with even a substance as widely used as caffeine, Earleywine goes on to utterly destroy the “gateway theory.”
“The notion that cannabis is a gateway drug has been so roundly disputed that modern scientific journals rarely publish work on this issue anymore,” he writes. “Most people who try the plant not only do not go on to use hard drugs, they do not even go on to use the plant regularly. Many who use hard drugs do so before they try cannabis, and the vast majority of those who try cannabis have never even seen hard drugs. (See Blaze-Temple and Lo, 1992, in The British Journal of Addiction as one of many, many examples.) In fact, a study published in the August issue of The Journal of School Health asserts that it is actually alcohol use that is a predictor for progression to harder drugs.”
Yet the theory persists because most people know how relatively harmless cannabis is, especially when compared with just about any other substance. So all anti-marijuana people have is the “theory” that cannabis will lead you down a path of hopeless drug addiction and death to back up their doomsday prophecies about a non-toxic plant.
But the propaganda simply cannot stand up to the incredible amount of information that is easily found on the internet. More than anything else, the world wide web has accelerated marijuana law reform efforts and successes.