This is something I have known for years:
A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate, but shifts the blame for escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.
Using a nationally representative sample from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, the study blasts holes in drug war orthodoxy wide enough to drive a truck through, definitively proving that marijuana use is not the primary indicator of whether a person will move on to more dangerous substances.
“By delaying the onset of alcohol initiation, rates of both licit substance abuse like tobacco and illicit substance use like marijuana and other drugs will be positively affected, and they’ll hopefully go down,” study co-author Adam E. Barry, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Department of Health Education & Behavior, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview.
I spent years working in the bar business and can tell you first hand that this is the case. One common drug is cocaine. People get drunk, know they are getting close to the limit and want to keep going. A great drug for that is cocaine. It helps you sober up quick and lets you drink even more, not missing out on the party.
Another drug, while not illegal, is nicotine. I have seen countless patrons that started off not smoking at all, then they started smoking, but only when drinking. After a bit more time they are lighting up all day.
I'm not saying to get rid of alcohol, but can we at least stop blaming marijuana for this now? The quicker we are honest about what drugs actually do what, the quicker we can work towards solutions.