Clearly this is one of the more enduring myths. Prohibition advocates for decades have claimed that marijuana, even if it doesn’t cause much harm, is still dangerous because it leads to the use of other harder drugs. Heroin, LSD, crystal meth and cocaine being the main hard drugs used when making this argument.
So… what is the truth? The truth is that while most users of cocaine, LSD and heroin have used marijuana previously, the majority of marijuana users have never used another drug in their life. Additionally, there lacks a statistical consistency between the use pattern of marijuana and the use pattern of other drugs.
In the 1060’s & 1970’s, heroin use declined while marijuana use increased. In the 1980’s, while marijuana use was on the decline, heroin use stayed nearly the same. For LSD, the use rate has stayed virtually unchanged for the past 20 years while marijuana use rates continued to fluctuate. With regards to marijuana and cocaine use rates, marijuana was declining in use during the 1980’s just as cocaine use was on the incline. Lately, marijuana has been on a slow increase while cocaine use has been on a decline.
The ever-changing nature of the statistical relationship between marijuana and other harder drugs indicates the absence of a causal link between the use of marijuana and the ‘other’ drugs. In plain english, please? OK. Here it is… There is no real evidence that marijuana is a gateway drug.