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Is Marijuana a gateway drug ?

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by downsouth, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    I have heard both sides to it. Some say pot statistically leads to users seeking more powerful, harmful and addictive substances (yet I have yet to see any stats to back that up) while others say it is harmless. I know it depends on how a person reacts towards pot and how addictive they are to its effects etc but in more cases than not do people who have used marijuana go on to do other drugs ?
  2. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    Most of my extended family (and I have a huge maternal extended family as my grandmother was one child in a family of 10 children) are or have been alcoholics. Most of them also either use weed regularly or have access to it for occasional use. It's an open secret who grows and who to ask for it. A few of us abuse our prescription pain killers once they get prescribed (long story, genetic disorder). Not one of them that I know of has used any of the harder street drugs more than a single try. I tried Ecstasy once and when I admitted it, they all came down pretty hard on me. Weed in their minds was natural and safe, especially when you know the grower. Alcohol was normal. Anything more was crossing the line. With that in mind, I think it can easily stop with weed use as the only drug. In fact, the cousins that use weed use far less alcohol if any and alcohol is pretty harmful. Plus, we got the weed within the family so most of us, including me, wouldn't really know who to ask for harder drugs. Make sense?

    BUT I think for teens who grow up in a more repressed environment where even a cigarette is bad, they can go for alcohol, then weed. If nothing 'bad' happens, I can see them being drawn to try other forbidden things. I think if weed were not forbidden, that it wouldn't be as much of a gateway drug. Because once you know how to find a dealer for weed, you have someone you can ask about where to get other things, you know? If you buy your weed at a legal dispensary, you don't have that access to the shadier side of things.
  3. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Yes and no! Marijuana doesn't lead a human to do other drugs at all, because marijuana is some fancy Legal term defined as a drug and is believed by the Legal society as a gateway drug, and even if it is truly a drug, it is a man or woman who picks up the drug and uses it. Now, if one was to be implying about cannabis or hemp, then no it is not a gateway drug but a herb of sorts. In fact, there are no gateway drugs, this is a false presumption or assumption - the only thing that influences a human to do drugs is their self and the peer pressure or force from other humans. Also, everything in the universe is a drug in a way, because all things are mind altering e.g. dumping a cold bucket of water on one's sweaty head is a relief and stimulates biochemicals to flux in one's body, stuck inside a small space can influence a human to be claustrophobic. However, it is whether a drug truly benefits one and other people, or not, that is of concern.
    kjonesm1 likes this.
  4. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    Glad you are off the Ecstasy. If I were your family member I would have reacted the same way. I think you have a point about environment being a huge factor on whether you make the jump from weed to other more harmful substances. In your case weed and alcohol were not seen as negative in your family. When you are grown up seeing it as "forbidden fruit" this may play a role in more likely abusing weed and other substances. Alcohol is the norm for my family. Only one uncle I know of has a problem with it but even that is not really scrutinized.
  5. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I have been surrounded by marijuana smokers all my life. I also smoked it myself from time to time in the past, but I have never been all that interested in it. From my experience and observations, it's not that common for marijuana users to reach for "harder" substances. Of course, that doesn't mean that a dope smoker might not be interested in other substances and get hooked on them.
  6. allen

    allen Member

    The Idea that there is "Gateway Drug." goes back to the 1930's. Which of course is rubbish as there is no evidence to support such an outlandish Idea, But if you keep banging the same drum eventually it will become embedded as fact.
    There is several reasons for the persecution of marijuana, which I'll try to condense and allow others to research more.

    1. It is a type of Hemp, the plant with the largest fibers in the world, it was used for all clothing and sails all the way up to the early 20th Century. The USA wrote the constitution on it and, was what the dollar bill was first printed on. Hemp is mold resistant, as a plant its drought resistant. and pests and disease have no impact. So when DUPONT patented his nylon and many other petrochemical materials. it was at the same time when hemp was outlawed.

    DuPont today makes all the gunpowder and paint for all the US military. Hemp was replaced by cotton and eventually nylon. Globally DuPont with backing from Paseur (family) forced this wonder plant into a quasi forbidden zone for no other reason than to create a monopoly especially in the developing countries where it is most likely to be grown.

    2. Marijuana which is hemp with high levels of THC has many medicinal uses which are natural and holistic in nature. So is a direct threat to Big Pharma.

    It is also forbidden unlike other drugs to victims of MK ultra programs as it opens neurological pathways that breaks down their programming, and although cocaine, heroin and alcohol is encouraged within these programs Marijuana is a strict taboo for the slaves.
    kjonesm1 likes this.
  7. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    In my defense, I literally tried it ONCE at a party and they jumped all over me because one of my cousins happened to be there so they knew. I was curious. *shrugs* Weed and alcohol, I'll use socially but I don't go out of my way to get it. The novelty of those wore off a long time ago. That wouldn't change even if weed were legal (and I'm positive I would qualify in a medical marijuana state for the card).

    My issues are with things far less benign than weed. I have never had an urge for more weed than was available to me. I never wanted it unless it was in front of me and even then, I could take it or leave it. If the urge I feel towards the pain pills is addiction (wanting them all of the time, counting the pills left, planning that I could have extras beyond the "necessary" amount X days per month and not go over my prescription, thinking of ways I could get a refill early if I really wanted it), then despite easy access, I have never been addicted to weed. I feel a stronger urge towards alcohol than I do towards weed and I already have very easy access. Having a local dispensary wouldn't make me use more.
  8. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Weed is not a gateway drug. If it was, the evidence would be causal and not anecdotal stories; as it is, weed has no proved addictive substance and should not become a gateway substance on this ground. There were studies suggesting that it could lead towards an ease to becoming addicted to different stuff when consumed before 18, so even if this is not proved 100% causation, one should still be careful.

    That being said, it can very well be that the people you meet when you're smoking weed will lead you towards different drugs. The lifestyle of being happy smoking for a happy time and not looking for other 'it comes from the inside' way of happiness. Like Fern mentioned, the habit of getting illegal stuff and possibly the thrill of it, too.

    I think it can be hard to quit because people who smoke it would not see any ill effect and their friend base would be people smoking. Not because it made anybody a junkie!
  9. rga1999

    rga1999 Member

    I don't believe Marijuana is a gateway drug. Gateway drugs tend to be addicting I believed so. People just use this as an excuse. I believe the gateway drug is the mind. It is a persons choice to choose a drug that gives them a better high. 90% of MJ users are perfectly fine getting their herbal high.
  10. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Lots of anti pot smokers will use that as reason to ban its use. From my knowledge there is no conclusive study or scientific fact that supports that theory. I tried pot and that's as far as it goes. I did it out of peer pressure. That's it. Should we now say that friends are the true gateway to more dangerous drugs?
  11. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    Most of the hardcore drug users that i know of can trace their humble beginning to marijuana use.It's as if pot was the perfect gateway to other hard,powerful drugs which made them more high and soon enough,pot was quickly forgotten.
  12. FionaMuva

    FionaMuva Member

    Of course everyone will say it's a gateway drug but I have known people who have been smoking pot for years and they have never had the urge to use any other drugs. It all depends on your reason for smoking up in the first place. If all you want to do is escape your problems 24/7 you will find yourself seeking more potent and harmful drugs than marijuana just to lengthen your escape.
    Fern likes this.
  13. Sarah

    Sarah Member

    I personally don't think that it is. If you try or smoke weed doesn't mean that it will lead you on to trying something stronger. I know plenty of people who blaze herbs and have no desire to anything else. In fact they don't even view cannabis as a drug. I believe its a choice and some people decide that it's not enough or they want to experience a different high and they move on to different things.
  14. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Opinions seem to be mixed although I am of the view that marijuana is not a gateway drug. It isn't physiologically addictive and the majority of people who use it don't use anything harder. I see weed as something for people who want to relax and harder drugs as something people use to block out their troubles.
  15. petesede

    petesede Active Contributor

    Probably the biggest reason it would be considered a ´gateway´ drug is because the person selling it is also selling harder stuff. This is one of my biggest arguments in favor of legalization. The amount of people who use pot compared to other illegal drugs is drastically higher, if you keep those people from interacting with drug-sellers, then they are less likely to buy something else from that drug dealer.
  16. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Of course it's easier for someone using weed to try another substance/drug but most weed users normally prefer sticking with weed because they believe unlike other drugs it has some health benefits [ a fact which those who support legalization never let us forget]. Even though it is assumed that weed is a gateway drug most weed smokers I've known never touched any other drugs.
  17. fire421

    fire421 Member

    Based on my experiences I wouldn't say so. I've only used it a few times but my friends smoke it twice a week. The only other drugs they use are alcohol and nicotine. None of those drugs are good for you but they have never expressed any interest in trying harder drugs.
  18. e_rosenfeld

    e_rosenfeld Member

    Marijuana can definitely be considered a gateway drug for various reasons. The biggest problem we encounter with people who smoke regularly is the mere fact that it's an expensive habit. Therefore if a person makes smoking weed a daily part of their life, they will soon find their money quickly disappearing. This is when other drugs come into the picture; cheaper and easier to find drugs. They still want to get a high, but not go broke.
  19. nessarconde

    nessarconde Member

    I don't think marijuana should be considered a drug. It's true that it yields psychoactive effects upon consumption, but also do some prescribed medications... Also, it is a very good medicinal plant, in some cases.
    I think marijuana is as much of a drug as coffee or antidepressants. Because they all possess the addiction risk, and psychological effects. On other hand, the desire for stronger psychoactive effects may lead the users to try other drugs, known to be stronger. But again, that risk is also present on people using some prescribed meds. The mind is a powerful thing... And if one's not mentally strong enough, or is having some rough times, the risk of falling into drug addiction is great no matter the substances they already take.
  20. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    I believe that it all depends on the user. Some people very easily become dependent, and later on addicted to substances, while others have a better sense of self-control.
    Some people seek for more, and others are satisfied with the mellow high that they get.
    Those who are dependent on the high and seek more and more are naturally not going to be satisfied with just using marijuana, and will begin to try and use more dangerous drugs.
    Those are are not so dependent and are satisfied with marijuana and don't seek an even stronger high are much less likely to try other drugs.