Marijuana’s ‘gateway effect’ is an exception rather than a rule

Marijuana is thought by some to be a gateway drug among young people who eventually go on to try stronger substances. But that may be the exception rather than the rule, a new study finds.

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire looked at data from a random group of 1,286 children, teens and young adults who were in Miami-Dade public schools in the 1990s. Among the study participants, 26% were African American, 44% were Hispanic, and 30% were non-Hispanic white…

Education played a role in use of other substances–those more likely to have used marijuana as teens and other drugs as young adults didn’t graduate from high school or go to college. Employment factored in as well, since those who smoked pot as teens and were out of work after high school were more apt to use other drugs.

Researchers also discovered that if young adults became involved with other substances after using marijuana as teens, that link didn’t hold once the sources of stress, such as not working, went away.

Age was yet another issue. Researchers discovered that after the age of 21, the gateway effect seemed to disappear.

“Employment in young adulthood can protect people by ‘closing’ the marijuana gateway,” said lead author Karen Van Gundy, in a news release, “so over-criminalizing youth marijuana use might create more serious problems if it interferes with later employment opportunities.”

No kidding.

Not that this will mean much of anything to politicians and other professional moralists. Don’t let facts get in the way of your beliefs.

One thought on “Marijuana’s ‘gateway effect’ is an exception rather than a rule

  1. Jillian Galloway says:

    $113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the federal prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand.

    According to the ONDCP, at least sixty percent of Mexican drug cartel money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., they protect this revenue by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering countless innocent people.

    If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so NOW, but if we can’t then we need to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes – no business can withstand the loss of sixty percent of its revenue!

    To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 “foot soldiers” and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and Arizona police are now conceding that parts of their state are under cartel control. The longer the cartels are allowed to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they’re going to get and the more our own personal security will be put in jeopardy.

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