Marijuana – The Gateway Drug?

Pro pot arguments:

1. Marijuana is not a gateway drug.

2. No one has ever died from marijuana.

3. It is impossible to overdose on marijuana.

4. What about alcohol? It is a legal drug and causes thousands of deaths.

5.There are no studies that prove marijuana is bad for you.

6. It is safe for pregnant women.

7. Marijuana is just a herb.

8. Marijuana: it is just a plant.

9. Marijuana is not a drug.

10. Big Pharma is afraid of marijuana legalization.

11. The traffic fatalities attributed to pot can’t be, they must be because of some other drug.

12. Big Pharma is afraid of marijuana legalization.

13. Marijuana is OK to drive

14. Safe for children and teens.

15. Marijuana cures cancer

16. Marijuana slows or stops black market sales/Lessens crime related to drugs.

17. Marijuana is not addictive.

18. Marijana is not a hallucinogen.

19. Medical Marijuana

One of the issues that concerns me most about the marketing of marijuana is that it makes other drugs so much more acceptable.  My youngest son lives in Colorado and tells me that it is very hard to find someone like him that doesn’t like or do drugs. 

He was out with one girl who was frustrated when she arrived and said that because of the stress, she had to take a couple of Adderall just to get through the day.  Like it was nothing.  Adderall is a very addictive drug.

In the 1960s when drugs like marijuana were coming into mainstream society, we did them.  We knew they were drugs.  We knew they were bad for you.  We didn’t argue that.  We did them anyway.  Then most of moved on and got on with our lives.

I saw this comment from someone that had used marijuana for years.  He pointed out that when you are doing a drug like marijuana, you are going to be around other drugs.  You are often going to be around people that will offer you other drugs.  

Let’s look at these one at a time: 

“No-one has ever died from marijuana!”

"A ten year old pointed out (I’m paraphrasing here): “Is that your criteria for whether a drug is good or bad: it doesn’t kill you?”

First Death in Colorado from Marijuana Edible

Also, granted it is very difficult to overdose from smoking pot, but numerous people have died in many ways from being under the influence.  

Automobile fatalities have increased in areas that pot has been legalized.  Often used with alcohol, pot exacerbates the danger.  Individuals having psychotic episodes have been killed or committed suicide.  

“It is impossible to overdose on marijuana.” 

(The logic here being because of that, as above, you can’t die from it.) 
How about the teen that had asthma and was too stoned to grab his inhaler and died.  And, as said earlier, is that really the criteria that you are going to use to measure if something is bad for you or not.

“What about alcohol? It is a legal drug and causes thousands of deaths.” 

This is true and is horribly tragic.  But is also a deflection of the argument.  Do you want another legal drug that takes lives? 
“Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased by 154 percent between 2006 and 2014;” - factcheck.org

There are numerous other places that link marijuana and traffic deaths.  Often marijuana is used in conjunction with alcohol, increasing the damaging effects of both with respect to driving. Driving stoned is still DUI.

“There are no studies that prove marijuana is bad for you.”

There are dozens of studies.  Many that show the dangers of pot for young people with developing brains.  Here is one article that tell  of the reduction of IQ with pot smokers, particularly with teens.

Study Shows Heavy Adolescent Pot Use Permanently Lowers IQ

“There is less crime if pot is legalized.”

One can find numerous opinions where people think that the logical result of marijuana legalization will lower crime.  One does need to factor in the data that possession crimes are not now going to be added in. 

The Colorado Government stats show:

“Felony marijuana court case filings (conspiracy, manufacturing, distribution, and possession with intent to sell) declined from 2008 to 2014, but increased from 2015 through 2017.

The most recent increase in filings might be in part because legislation changed the legal indoor plant count, providing law enforcement agencies with greater clarity and tools to increase their enforcement of black market activity.

Felony filings in 2017 (907) were still below 2008 filings (1,431).

Filings in organized-crime cases followed a similar pattern, with a dip in 2012 and 2013 followed by a significant increase since 2014.

There were 31 organized crime case filings in 2012 and 119 in 2017.”

“It is safe for pregnant women.”

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/factsheets/pregnancy.htm

“Given the potential of marijuana to negatively impact the developing brain, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that obstetrician-gynecologists counsel women against using marijuana while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and while they are breastfeeding.”

(Ref: Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation - ACOG. ACOG. http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Marijuana-Use-During-Pregnancy-and-Lactation. Published July 2015. Accessed October 12, 2016.)

And from livescience.com

“Researchers studied marijuana's effects on mice and brain tissue from human fetuses, and found that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, interferes with the formation of connections between nerve cells in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking skills and forming memories.”

“Marijuana is just a herb.”

Yeah, so is hemlock.  Hemlock is also a poison.

“Marijuana: it is just a plant.”

Yeah, so is the poppy - where heroin comes from.  Cocaine comes from a plant.

“It (marijuana) is not a drug.”

If you want to redefine the word ‘drug’ to your liking then no one can argue with you, of course.  But if we take the common legal term and use that definition, then, yes, it is a drug. 

Marijuana is not a hallucinogen!

Per   Villanova.edu :
“Examples[of a Hallucinogen] include: LSD, PCP, MDMA (Ecstasy), marijuana, mescaline, and psilocybin."

“The traffic fatalities attributed to pot can’t be, they must be because of some other drug.”

Do your homework.  Because of the acceptance of marijuana and that it has been promoted as harmless, young people are drinking alcohol and also smoking pot and driving. 
From the Denver Post 2017:

“The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, federal and state data show.”

“Big Pharma is afraid of marijuana legalization.” 

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The sales of mood altering drugs via Big Pharma have not faltered anywhere that pot has been legalized.  These organizations have more than enough money to fight it if deemed necessary.  As I mentioned earlier in this article, the acceptance of marijuana helps to make other drugs more acceptable and prevalent.  

Meth Deaths Surge In Oregon

Well, I use 'Medical Marijuana'

There is no difference between regular marijuana and medical marijuana. Some will say that because medical marijuana is regulated it is safer.  It supposedly has a higher CBD and lower THC content.  Both of these facts can be shown to be inconsistent.  

From wikileaf.com

“Would it surprise you to know that there is no fundamental difference in the plants used for medicinal purposes and those used for recreational purposes? Granted, medical marijuana is often grown organically and tested for consistency and potency, but the plant itself is still simply marijuana.”

Summary

When I read comments on Marijuana articles I think that most of the pro-pot people must be trolls.  The reason for this thought is that in the majority they resort to name calling and inflammatory remarks as opposed to citing studies with links, that support their view.  Or they will use some generality like, ‘it’s common knowledge’, which is a bit silly because that again doesn’t really back up their view with anything concrete.  I’m pretty sure these trolls are trying to stir up emotion so that people react instead of having a civilized conversation.  If they can’t argue the point they criticize the writer.

Posted by greymouser

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