The theory that marijuana is a “gateway drug”, meaning it leads to the use of harder drugs, is a fallacy, according to a new report.
The report, conducted by the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz, explicitly rejects allegations that marijuana makes people susceptible to the use of other illicit substances, or that a causal link exists between marijuana use and drugs such as heroin.
“There is compelling and enduring evidence that marijuana is not a gateway drug,” states the report. “Yet, non-evidence-based political factors on both the left and the right remain the reason for the persistence of the gateway myth.”
According to Paul Armentano, Deputy Director for NORML; “Prior analyses from the National Academy of Sciences and the Rand Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Center similarly conclude that “marijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.” By contrast, several recent studies indicate that those with legal cannabis access typically mitigate their use of other controlled substances, such as opioids and cocaine.”
The full report, titled “The Marijuana Gateway Fallacy“, can be found by clicking here.