In the Lilienfeld text it says that many researchers argue that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that influences users to try harder drugs such as heroin. However, it is very hard to test and prove that it actually is a gateway drug. Researchers cannot prove that if someone tries marijuana that they will be more susceptible to trying harder drugs in the future. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that a person who smokes marijuana is more than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries the drug. An article from Time Magazine brings in an argument against this. The article states, "Hell's Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more than 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who do not become Hell's Angles, but that doesn't mean that riding a two-wheeler is a "gateway" to joining a motorcycle gang." This means that people who never ride bikes probably would never join a motorcycle gang. The article is trying to prove the point that people who do not use marijuana will probably not use harder drugs, but just because they do try marijuana does not mean that it serves as a gateway to harder drugs. This is showing that correlation is not causation. The correlation that marijuana users will try harder drugs does not automatically imply that marijuana use was the cause of the use of the harder drugs. The debate still continues today between whether marijuana is a gateway drug or not.
Here is the link to the Time Magazine article:
Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die