Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug!
Weed, Weed, Weed! Pt. 2
by John Ceccon
Its been 3 years since I’ve posted anything having to do with marijuana and a lot have changed since then. Somebody has apparently lit a fire under the medical and recreational marijuana business, because it has exploded in the last few years. The income potential is staggering – follow the money. In 2012 Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. A new report from ArcView Market Research predicts that 18 U.S. states will have legalized recreational marijuana in the next five years. As of this writing, 8 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and 29 other states have legalized it for medical use. That’s more than half the country. However, marijuana is still being demonized as a dangerous drug with most of the opposition coming from conservatives, big pharma, and the alcohol industry. Yes, times are changing and what we are seeing is a shift in the paradigm of what is an acceptable recreational drug of choice. Up until recently, it’s been alcohol. Yes, alcohol is a drug and it is the #1 gateway drug in the United States.
Despite the recent surge of marijuana legalization, there is still a fair amount of opposition. Although marijuana was legalized in my home state of California during the 2016 presidential election, 42 percent of the people still voted against it. Not surprisingly, the opposition broke down like this;
- Donald Trump voters — 64 percent opposed
- Conservatives — 59 percent
- Registered Republicans — 61 percent
- Voters 65 and older — 57 percent
- Evangelical voters — 54 percent
The clueless Attorney General of the United States – Jeff Sessions, who is a 70 year old republican from Alabama has stated that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” This sounds like something you would expect from a 70 year old republican from the back woods of Alabama – moonshine country. Hey Jeff, do good people drink, drive, and kill other good people on America’s highways? Do good people get all liquored up and engage in some good ol’ American domestic violence. Jeff needs to chill out and smoke a joint.
Whenever I hear people refer to marijuana as a dangerous gateway drug, I just want to smack them upside the head and point out just how ignorant and uninformed they are. What you will find is that many of these people have never smoked pot and are just repeating this untruth from people who are equally as ignorant and uninformed. If you talk to most recovering drug addicts, they will tell you that long before they ever picked up a drug, they were using alcohol. This is not a biased opinion. I’ve worked with recovering addicts and alcoholics for the last 25 years. Alcohol is and has been the most widely used gateway drug. In San Diego, where I live, there are currently about a dozen marijuana dispensaries and their location is strictly controlled. Dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of a “sensitive use” — which includes parks, schools and churches — or another dispensary. However, if you want liquor, there is a liquor store or bar room on every block. You can buy liquor at Walmart, Target, CVS, Vons, and several drive-thru’s in San Diego. You can even buy liquor at some 711’s now. One location has the audacity to sell liquor and guns under the same roof. I’ll take a fifth of Jack Daniels and an AR-15 please. There are very few places in San Diego where you can throw a baseball and not hit a liquor store or bar room.
Alcohol – the #1 gateway drug
The common government stance within the US is that alcohol is a gateway drug. This means that a user first starts drinking and then moves on to harder substances, later on in life. Most of this data comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 1999 a review was done of the Adult Drug Court Program in Las Vegas, Nevada. This study revealed that 27% of those who used harder drugs, such as cocaine, meth, and heroin, started off by using alcohol. The study also revealed that 32% of those who drank alcohol between the ages of 12 and 17 eventually moved on to marijuana.
Just the facts maam
- Alcohol is responsible for 100,000 deaths per year (2016)
- Drunk drivers are responsible for 20,400 deaths – so far in 2017
- Tobacco is responsible for 480, 000 deaths per year (2016)
- Prescription drug overdose deaths 20,100 (2016)
- The Journal of the American Medical Association recently unveiled in a report that 92% of domestic abusers were abusing alcohol not just in their lives but at the time of the incident.
- An estimated 37 percent of sexual assaults and rapes are committed by offenders who were under the influence of alcohol.
- An estimated 27 percent of aggravated assaults are committed by individuals who have used alcohol.
- Alcohol is involved in more homicides across the United States compared to other substances, like heroin and cocaine. In fact, about 40 percent of convicted murderers had used alcohol before or during the crime.
- Marijuana – no deaths – EVER
What have we learned
1) Jeff Sessions is an old knucklehead. 2) If all the drunks stopped drinking and started smoking pot, life would be better for a lot of people. 3) Jeff Sessions is an old knucklehead. 4) Alcohol is a gateway drug. 5) Nobody had ever died from consuming marijuana.
Copyright 2017. John Ceccon. All rights reserved.