The first thing that people think when they hear about weed is that it is a soft drug that won’t cause any harm. It is essential to understand that weed is not entirely harmful, but it is not a gateway drug at all.
The second thing people think when they hear about cannabis is that it will ultimately lead to more harmful and more addictive drugs. This is a common belief that started back in the ‘30s, and since then it got stuck inside people’s heads.
The answer to the question whether cannabis is a gateway drug depends on different factors. For understanding how weed functions and how to cleanse yourself from it, we will present you resource you may need to do it.
But let’s get back to a gateway question. The experts are divided as well, and we can hear the debate about whether marijuana is harmful and could it lead to hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and others. This is especially important when you combine medicinal qualities of weed and THC, which got popular nowadays as a pain relief drug and substitute for pharmaceutical opioids and barbiturates.
What Is The Gateway Drug Theory?
This particular theory suggests that weed will be most likely to be used by people who will later advance to harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Public and experts used two reasons for this:
Experimentation – If you decide to try a drug such as marijuana, you will increase your rate as well as a pleasure to try other drugs and to further experiment with yourself.
Social Groups – When an individual decides to use marijuana with other people who also use it, it is most likely that they will be exposed to other substances and drugs too. Therefore, you will have an increased opportunity to try harder substances.
Gateway drug theory (click here to learn more about it) started to implement around the idea that people who use light substances for mind-altering and recreational reasons, will have less will to say no to more dangerous drugs that could lead to severe addictions. At the same time, consuming light drugs such as cannabis would lead to harder drugs.
The research has shown that this theory features a high percentage, which is more than 20%. On the other hand, reality has shown us that marijuana users were five to nine times likely to experience an opioid problem in case they used it occasionally.
You should have in mind that total probability for opioid problems is low for frequent marijuana users, especially when compared with those who do not use marijuana at all. It depends on how you look at it, and even heaviest weed users do not have opioid issues.
The substance use doesn’t depend on specific drugs but other contextual factors such as:
Level of parental supervision
Community and neighborhood environment
Unique preferences of the individual including life experience and biology
When it comes to marijuana use, you should consider additional aspects as well:
Perception of marijuana as a harmful and safe drug
Initial experience with cannabis
These studies have in common the ability to draw a reliable conclusion about later drug use and risk factors. However, the gateway theory ignores one essential element, and that is that buying marijuana currently involves interacting with the black market, or commonly known as drug dealers.
To check whether marijuana is gateway drug, visit this website: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug.
It means that if you are buying marijuana, you are already breaking the law, and we all know that it doesn’t matter if you are willing to commit an illegal act or additional illicit acts. That way, if you legalize marijuana, you will reduce the possibility of people who break the law and lower their chance to enter the black market for other drugs.
Therefore, weed is not a gateway drug due to its chemical reactions in your brain, but due to its illegality. As soon as you broke one law, you will interact with people who have harder drugs too. It gets more likely that you will do it again and potentially try other substances as well because they will become available to you.
If drugs were legal and regulated, people wouldn’t be able to reach the black market and break the law again. When you make something socially acceptable and legs, you will reduce the chances of creating a hassle for other people too.