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Study: Marijuana Does Not Lead to Hard Drugs
Reuters ^ | Dec. 2, 2002 | unknown

Posted on 12/02/2002 2:42:58 PM PST by Sparta

— WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Countering a basic principle of American anti-drug policies, an independent U.S. study concluded on Monday that marijuana use does not lead teenagers to experiment with hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

The study by the private, nonprofit RAND Drug Policy Research Center rebutted the theory that marijuana acts as a so-called gateway drug to more harmful narcotics, a key argument against legalizing pot in the United States.

The researchers did not advocate easing restrictions in marijuana, but questioned the focus on this substance in drug control efforts.

Using data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse between 1982 and 1994, the study concluded teenagers who took hard drugs were predisposed to do so whether they tried marijuana first or not.

"Kids get their first opportunity to use marijuana years before they get their first exposure to hard drugs," said Andrew Morral, lead author of the RAND study.

"Marijuana is not a gateway drug. It's just the first thing kids often come across."

Morral said 50 percent of U.S. teenagers had access to marijuana by the age of 16, while the majority had no exposure to cocaine, heroin or hallucinogens until they were 20.

The study, published in the British journal Addiction, does not advocate legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, which has been linked to side-effects including short-term memory loss.

But given limited resources, Morral said the U.S. government should reconsider the prominence of marijuana in its much-publicized "war on drugs."

"To a certain extent we are diverting resources away from hard drug problems," he said. "Spending money on marijuana control may not be having downstream consequences on the use of hard drugs."

Researchers say predisposition to drug use has been linked to genetic factors and one's environment, including family dynamics and the availability of drugs in the neighborhood.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brownshirts; dudewheresmybong; dumembers; ganja; gatewaydrug; jackboots; jbtsonparade; lpvoters; maryjane; stoners; wackyweed; weedisnotnormal; wodlist
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Got the flame suit on so flame away.
1 posted on 12/02/2002 2:42:58 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
but it does lead to hot fudge sundaes
2 posted on 12/02/2002 2:43:57 PM PST by breakem
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To: Sparta
In a related story, 2 + 2 = 4.

3 posted on 12/02/2002 2:46:07 PM PST by Jonathon Spectre
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To: Sparta
I can't remember what it leads to.
4 posted on 12/02/2002 2:46:22 PM PST by Argus
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To: Sparta
Every pot smoker I knew in college and the post-college years experimented with harder drugs. Everyone I've ever met who had a problem with hard drugs was also a potsmoker.

Conversely, I and the other nonpotsmokers I know haven't had any experience, let alone difficulties, with hard drugs.

Reality check - how many people do you know who have made this statement: "I'll do smack and blow, but I'll never touch that demon weed!"

5 posted on 12/02/2002 2:47:52 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Every pot smoker I knew in college and the post-college years experimented with harder drugs. Everyone I've ever met who had a problem with hard drugs was also a potsmoker.

Your statement is not one of fact or evidence.

6 posted on 12/02/2002 2:50:57 PM PST by SunStar
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To: wideawake
Every pot smoker I knew in college and the post-college years experimented with harder drugs. Everyone I've ever met who had a problem with hard drugs was also a potsmoker.

Everyone I've ever met who did hard drugs/weed was a drinker! Alcohol is the getaway drug.

7 posted on 12/02/2002 2:51:20 PM PST by BrooklynGOP
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To: SunStar
Yet his statement jives with what I've experienced as well... Funny how that works.
8 posted on 12/02/2002 2:51:40 PM PST by Monty22
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To: Sparta
If this report is right, I was an anomaly - it's been over 15 years since I did drugs, but MJ got me over the initial fear of the unknown. After that, it was a steady progression up to the "bigger/better" stuff. It may not cause hard drug use, but it definitely paves the way...
9 posted on 12/02/2002 2:54:57 PM PST by trebb
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To: Sparta
Old news. The gateway myth was disproved many years ago but for some reason it keeps popping up from time to time, as though it is some newfound evidence. Guess it is just another way to get funding for doing research, and then writing about the same old stuff..
10 posted on 12/02/2002 2:55:43 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: BrooklynGOP
Oddly enough, I've had many people tell me that they hate alcohol, but enjoy pot.

I've never tried pot (or any other illegal substance for that matter) myself, but I do enjoy a good single malt.

11 posted on 12/02/2002 2:56:05 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Virtually every person I know who does or has done "hard drugs" also smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, drank milk, ate bread, read meat, vegetables, and breathed oxygen.
12 posted on 12/02/2002 2:57:43 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: *Wod_list; Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; headsonpikes; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; ...
WOD Ping
13 posted on 12/02/2002 2:58:56 PM PST by jmc813
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To: vin-one
I tried the *Wod_list in the to field. Could you tell me if this showed up OK?
14 posted on 12/02/2002 2:59:36 PM PST by jmc813
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To: SunStar
You are correct, sir. The gentleman's experience is anectdotal but if his experience matches up with the experience of everyone else (as it undoubtedly does) than observations become observable fact.
Finding recreational users or abusers of drugs who haven't used marijuana will be just a bit easieer than finding an honest man.
15 posted on 12/02/2002 3:03:24 PM PST by thegreatbeast
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To: breakem
potato chip massacres....
16 posted on 12/02/2002 3:03:49 PM PST by Ronin
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To: Monty22
Yet his statement jives with what I've experienced as well... Funny how that works.

Well, I've found the opposite to be true. Funny how that works too.

17 posted on 12/02/2002 3:05:13 PM PST by SunStar
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To: trebb
I did drugs, but MJ got me over the initial fear of the unknown.

Ah! And therein lies the rub. Because "they" lied to you, and told you terrible terrible things were going to happen to you when you smoked pot. And guess what happend when you finally tried it and didn't die? You said to yourself.. Hell! Maybe they are lying about cocaine/speed/heroin too?

That's one of the problems with our governments approach to drug education. They want to classify all drugs as being equally bad. Which of course is a load of sh-t. And when kids figure out that it is a load of sh-t and realise that they have been lied to about drug A. Well then they don't believe the truth about drug B. Though it maybe true.

18 posted on 12/02/2002 3:05:55 PM PST by Smogger
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To: Sparta
-- If X smokes weed, then X will do harder drugs later in life.

-- If X does not do harder drugs later in life, X does not smoke weed.

These are logically equivalent statements; either both are true or both are false. If you say marijuana is a gateway drug, you are also saying that casual users do not exist. That is simply not so.
19 posted on 12/02/2002 3:06:40 PM PST by Tony Niar Brain
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To: thegreatbeast
Finding recreational users or abusers of drugs who haven't used marijuana will be just a bit easieer than finding an honest man.

That is NOT the point. The question is whether the majority of pot smokers use other drugs, not the opposite (which I am sure is true). If the majority of pot users do not use other drugs, then it is not a gateway drug, even if the majority of hard drug users also use pot.

Get it now?

20 posted on 12/02/2002 3:07:21 PM PST by SunStar
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To: Sparta
Psst: Pot leads to hard drug use.

Pass it on.

21 posted on 12/02/2002 3:07:22 PM PST by Illbay
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To: jmc813
You will find this article at the top of the linked list.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/involved?group=124
22 posted on 12/02/2002 3:07:43 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Tony Niar Brain
BINGO!
23 posted on 12/02/2002 3:08:12 PM PST by SunStar
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To: thegreatbeast
Finding recreational users or abusers of drugs who haven't used marijuana will be just a bit easieer than finding an honest man.

But considerably easier then finding recreational users of drugs who haven't used liquor or tobacco.

24 posted on 12/02/2002 3:08:28 PM PST by Smogger
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To: SunStar
Your refutation is based on even less. At least he discussed his own observations. You just said "nuh-UH!"
25 posted on 12/02/2002 3:08:41 PM PST by Illbay
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To: Sparta
"Something will start at the Republican National Committee, inside the building, and it will explode the next day on the right-wing talk-show network and on Fox News and in the newspapers that play this game," ---- Al Gore

Replace RNC with Rand and Fox News with Reuters.
26 posted on 12/02/2002 3:10:53 PM PST by What Is Ain't
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To: wideawake
I did a lot of pot 20-30 years ago during my teens and early 20s, but never touched anything harder. And, yes, I know a lot of people that can say the same. I haven't touched anything harder than scotch in more years than I can remember.

Like it or not, marijuana is a lot less destructive in virtually every way than alcohol. Yet no one is seriously considering prohibition again.

They do make a good point. Money and resources spent chasing kids with a few home-grown buds in their apartment could be much better spent on the serious problems facing America -- like the war on terror, for instance.

There is no need to keep persuing a phony and unwinnable drug war, that does nothing but turn hardworking, taxpaying Americans into criminals, when we have a genuine enemy that needs to be confronted.
27 posted on 12/02/2002 3:11:58 PM PST by Ronin
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To: Tony Niar Brain
Stop applying the rules of logi. Don't you know this is a drug thread!
28 posted on 12/02/2002 3:18:27 PM PST by breakem
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To: breakem
or the rules of spelling for that matter.
29 posted on 12/02/2002 3:21:21 PM PST by breakem
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To: Illbay
Your refutation is based on even less. At least he discussed his own observations. You just said "nuh-UH!"

Actually, I said "I've found the opposite to be true."

My observations are that the pot users I know do not use hard drugs. In fact, they are quick to point out that the other major drugs of choice are not "natural" like marijuana is.

30 posted on 12/02/2002 3:22:37 PM PST by SunStar
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To: Sparta
The pot dilemna could be settled by one "joint" session of congress.
31 posted on 12/02/2002 3:23:29 PM PST by authordavidtoy
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To: Sparta
hey, facts don't matter here. druggie (sarcasm).
32 posted on 12/02/2002 3:24:29 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: SunStar
wodping
33 posted on 12/02/2002 3:24:37 PM PST by tracer
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To: wideawake
every one who tries to define reality from anecdotal experience or the collective is being intellectually invalid.
34 posted on 12/02/2002 3:25:53 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: Phantom Lord
Perhaps we should concentrate on the dihydrogen oxide problem as well?
35 posted on 12/02/2002 3:26:18 PM PST by realpatriot71
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To: Illbay
Psst. Blanket statements lead to a representation of reality that fits very well into small minds.
36 posted on 12/02/2002 3:27:43 PM PST by galt-jw
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To: Tony Niar Brain
Someone paid attention in Logic 101 . . . sadly most of your statement will be lost on the meathead puritans here
37 posted on 12/02/2002 3:28:29 PM PST by realpatriot71
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To: breakem
Drugs and spelling always mix.
38 posted on 12/02/2002 3:28:43 PM PST by Tony Niar Brain
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To: Ronin
”Like it or not, marijuana is a lot less destructive in virtually every way than alcohol. Yet no one is seriously considering prohibition again.”

That’s because at some level they understand that prohibition didn’t work. Now weather or not they understand the fallout that was created by the prohibition laws is another matter.

The truth is that alcohol kills more people and creates more destruction per year than all drugs combined. And if any of the WOD’ers who usually pop off on these threads had any intellectual or moral honesty about themselves they would have researched the data and been aware of that fact and would likewise be calling for the prohibition of alcohol as well as drugs.

However, I suspect that most of the rabid WOD’ers here are probably staunch members of the Budweiser for lunch bunch.

39 posted on 12/02/2002 3:29:15 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Ronin
I did a lot of pot 20-30 years ago during my teens and early 20s, but never touched anything harder. And, yes, I know a lot of people that can say the same. I haven't touched anything harder than scotch in more years than I can remember.

Maybe you can't remember very many years. George Soros, the quisling NWO apparatchik, spends big bucks pushing repeal of our drug laws. Why does a quisling billionaire like Soros want to have lots more American kids strung out on drugs? Is it because he loves this country? I don't think so.

40 posted on 12/02/2002 3:29:19 PM PST by Bedford Forrest
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To: Sparta
I hope the study itself is a bit better than the article. I do not hold my breath, however, given the quotation and conclusions.

Countering a basic principle of American anti-drug policies, an independent U.S. study concluded on Monday that marijuana use does not lead teenagers to experiment with hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

Nobody said that people progress to cocaine while they are still teenagers.

By focusing on teenagers, the study cannot generalize to other populations, such as that of 20-30 year-olds, for instance. This is called a threat to external validity.

"Marijuana is not a gateway drug. It's just the first thing kids often come across."

What kind of logic is that? It's like saying, "The engine of a car is not a simple mechanism. It's just something people use to get to work." The second sentence has nothing to do with the first.

Does logic always fail this author or only when he reports his results?

Morral said 50 percent of U.S. teenagers had access to marijuana by the age of 16, while the majority had no exposure to cocaine, heroin or hallucinogens until they were 20.

There you go: so there is such thing as time after all. Another blunder:

"To a certain extent we are diverting resources away from hard drug problems," he said. "Spending money on marijuana control may not be having downstream consequences on the use of hard drugs."

But his study is cross-sectional rather than longitudinal; he did not even gather evidence that may support or contradict this assertion.

People like this author would not survive a year in engineering or science. But in "social sciences," such people even get outside funding. It is they who report to you on even numbered years that coffee is bad for you and, respectively, on odd-numbered years that it is harmless.

41 posted on 12/02/2002 3:31:01 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: wideawake
Every pot smoker I knew in college and the post-college years experimented with harder drugs. Everyone I've ever met who had a problem with hard drugs was also a potsmoker.

Let's say what you say is true. Who cares? The legality of one substance cannot be based upon the possibility that those who consume it may consume something else. And whose business is it if they do anyway?

42 posted on 12/02/2002 3:32:58 PM PST by southern rock
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To: Sparta
Beer does lead to hard drugs and harder booze
Bet all drug addicts started with beer when teenagers
43 posted on 12/02/2002 3:34:36 PM PST by uncbob
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To: TopQuark
What kind of logic is that? It's like saying, "The engine of a car is not a simple mechanism. It's just something people use to get to work." The second sentence has nothing to do with the first.

No it isn't. It speaks to the nature causal relationship. Take people who eat dessert. Did their meal lead them to (make them) eat the dessert, or did the meal just happen to come first.

Gateway drug theory says that MJ use will lead to harder drugs. The study just says that people who are going to use hard drugs are going to use hard drugs wether MJ is the first drug they come across or not. Get it?

44 posted on 12/02/2002 3:34:40 PM PST by realpatriot71
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To: breakem
Who cares if marijuana is a gate-way drug or not. They worry about money being wasted on marijuana arrests - what about the money wasted on stupid studies like this one. I was in college in the 70's. Those who drank may have had a hang-over the next day but it passed. Those who made a regular habit of smoking pot were known as burn-outs for the simple reason that, even when they weren't smoking, they weren't overly sharp. By contrast, alcohol takes a lot longer to do permanent damage - I'm not defending alcohol or promoting it, I'm just saying that pot destroys minds a lot quicker and we don't need to legalize it.
45 posted on 12/02/2002 3:35:07 PM PST by onevoter
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: uncbob
I'm sure they did. Let's ban beer for the sake of society.(sarcasm)
47 posted on 12/02/2002 3:37:10 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
An adict is an addict is an addict
Heroin or coke addicts would eventually be alcoholics if they weren't on the other stuff
48 posted on 12/02/2002 3:37:42 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Illbay
Psst: Pot leads to hard drug use.

Not for this warrior princess, it hasn't. And the older I get, the less chance it ever will.

It does, however, lead me to things like Super Troopers and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Make of that what you will.
49 posted on 12/02/2002 3:40:53 PM PST by Xenalyte
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To: breakem
Man created alcohol, God created MaryJane--Who do you trust??
50 posted on 12/02/2002 3:41:27 PM PST by Renegade
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