The Gateway Theory: Marijuana Use and Other Drug ..
The Gateway Hypothesis of substance abuse: …
In sum, an objective reading of the literature examining the MGH and considering the findings from the research presented above leads to the conclusion that marijuana is not really a gateway drug. For the MGH to hold water, there should be more consistent and stronger associations to harder drug use. There is strong support for sequencing, however sequencing is not causal. Moreover, the most rigorous empirical evidence shows little to no causal gateway effects. As such, any public policy that prohibits the use of marijuana in an attempt to curb hard drug use is unlikely to succeed. Additionally, policymakers should consider the negative and unintended consequences of making a criminal out of an otherwise law abiding pot smoker, such as difficulty securing employment and an increased risk of committing future crimes. Former President Carter once said, “the penalty for drug possession should not be more harmful to an individual than the use of the drug itself.” This is certainly true for marijuana.
An alternative to the gateway-drug hypothesis is ..
Throughout the discussions conducted by Kandel, Johnston, and their colleagues social rather than biological factors dominate the analysis. The connection between marijuana use and other drug use is a function of set and setting, not a function of the pharmacological properties of the drug. As Brady pointed out in section 5, if you want to influence decisions about the use of some drugs, circumstances can be arranged. The paramount issue is whether or not the pharmacological properties of the drug outweigh the influence of set and setting. This is certainly not the case with marijuana, and this will be discussed in more detail in section 7. The addictive qualities of nicotine, by contrast, are a factor that outweighs or at least rivals the influence of set and setting -- note the persistence of cigarette use found in Chen and Kandel's 1995 report.