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Marijuanna as a Gateway Drug - Research Paper Example

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This paper tries to shed some light on the debate regarding “marijuana being a gateway drug” and it tries to argue against this argument. In the limelight of nationwide discussions, various aspects of marijuana are still more like a mystery or legend waiting to be explored…
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Marijuanna as a Gateway Drug
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Download file to see previous pages In a report presented by the National Institute on Drug Abuse concludes that any person smoking marijuana is 104 times more likely to use cocaine as compared to any other person that has never tried marijuana. In fact, one commonly come across stories about drug addicts who start their stories with marijuana and then end up trying every drug known to humankind (Iversen, 2001). There are no doubts in the fact that there is strong correlation between the use of marijuana and use of other drugs; however, this correlation does not represent causation. In other words, the statement that use of marijuana leads to other drugs is incorrect because scientists and researchers of “National Institute of Medical Marijuana discarded this idea as far back in 1999” (Earleywine, 2002). The researchers concluded that the patterns of drug use amongst the lifetime of people share striking similarities and use the marijuana precedes the use of many other drugs but that is primarily because of the fact marijuana is the most widely available illicit drug. In fact, these patterns also indicate that even before using marijuana these people use nicotine and alcohol usually long before they of the legal age to do the same (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2011). In that way, alcohol and nicotine would have to be labeled as gateway drugs but the same is not true because these drugs or their effects have failed to show elements or tendencies of attracting people to other drugs (Kleiman, Caulkins & Hawken, 2011). Every year the federal government conducts two huge surveys in order to explore the changing trends of drug use in the population. Over the past decade, year after year, the number of people who tried marijuana has been greater than that of people who have tried cocaine and heroin. In the year 2009, over 2.3 million tried marijuana and the same number of heroin and cocaine remained at 0.18 and 0.6 million respectively. If marijuana was such a strong gateway drug then this should have increased the number of cocaine and heroin consumers as well (Kleiman, Caulkins & Hawken, 2011). One possible explanation of marijuana leading to other drugs could be understood by the example of music. A person who likes music, or listens to a genre of music for the first time and likes it, is likely to look for new bands and singers in that genre. This is because people have the general tendency to look for change and new ways to impress themselves. Sticking to one song, band, or genre is most likely to feel boring within a short time. The same is true for marijuana. When marijuana starts appealing to certain people, they like to diversify their taste and look for new drugs, which could give them the same or even better feeling (Hanson, Venturelli & Fleckenstein, 2011). Another reason behind the correlation of marijuana and other drugs relates to the supply chain of these drugs. You can only find a heroin dealer if you have an expert consumer of weed. Heroin and cocaine dealers face greater penalties and their limited supply makes it hard for the suppliers of these hard drugs to trust customers easily. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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