Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 2009
Source: Maui News, The (HI)
Copyright: 2009 The Maui News
Author: Ralph Givens


Gordon C. Cockett's concern (Letters, July 31) about a gateway from 
marijuana to harder drugs was laid to rest by the Institute of 
Medicine's 1997 study of medical marijuana.

Notions of progression to addictive drugs were dashed to the ground 
with this rebuttal: "Whereas the stepping stone hypothesis presumes a 
predominantly physiological component to drug progression, the 
gateway theory is a social theory. The latter does not suggest that 
the pharmacological qualities of marijuana make it a risk factor for 
progression to other drug use. Instead it is the legal status of 
marijuana that makes it a gateway drug." The report can be viewed 
online at

The IOM study clearly indicates that outlawing marijuana is the 
source of any gateway effect. The reason being that many marijuana 
dealers also sell heroin and cocaine and encourage pot users to try 
something new from time to time.

The plain truth is that keeping cannabis illegal is the real gateway.

Ralph Givens

Daly City, Calif.
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