Alcohol is the first gate

May 3, 2012

Government proponents of the current marijuana laws argue that marijuana is a gateway drug.  That is to say, they claim that the use of marijuana leads to use of harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin.  This argument is not only flawed, but shows a glaring inconsistency in government policies in support of alcohol, but against marijuana.

A Golub and BD Johnson found in a study on the progression of drug use that teens who use marijuana almost always begin by using both tobacco and alcohol before using marijuana.  Furthermore, their study found that the progression argument does not hold water for people born in the 1970's and later.  Instead, they concluded that "the increase in youthful marijuana use has been offset by lower rates of progression to hard drug use among youths born in the 1970s."    Thus, fewer users progress from marijuana to hard core drug use than the government propaganda would lead us to believe.

Even if marijuana is a gateway drug - which I seriously doubt after reading several studies on the matter - alcohol has been uniformly found to be a gateway drug to marijuana.  That is not to say that all alcohol users will become users of marijuana, but that an overwhelming number of marijuana users used alcohol first.  If this is so, then I have to ask, "Why is alcohol still legal and marijuana illegal?"  Could it be because people can grow marijuana in their backyard and the government is afraid they will lose a tax base?  Tell us your thoughts below.