Ever since I can remember knowing what Marijuana was, I can remember people telling me that it was a gate-way drug. What did they mean by this? These people were telling me that if I tried smoking pot, that eventually it would lead to me wanting to experiment with harder drugs. I myself chose to dismiss this claim at a younger age.
I bring this up because I do now believe that it can be a gate-way drug. I am not saying that it happens to everyone but to straight up say it does not lead to harder drug use I think would be a lie. I have watched a family member of mine get involved in the drug scene beginning with marijuana. It started out with just picking up small sacks here or there just to get high like any other teenager. Once he realized that he enjoyed the feeling of being high and was sick of paying for it, he began slanging it. Next thing I know my cousin who I thought I knew pretty well was experimenting with ecstasy, mollie, and even at extreme points heroin. When he was found dead in his apartment there was evidence off all of these drugs present.
It doesn't have to be that extreme where it ends in death, but I have also watched two close buddies of mine stray away because of drugs as well. Both starting with the dealing of marijuana and then having the dreams of wanting more. I have watched them both get into and use multiple times drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. I have been fortunate enough to watch one of them exit that field however.
I do believe that marijuana makes it a whole lot easier to get into these types of drugs because as I can tell you from experience, you always want more of that "feeling". Like we learned in psychology our body builds up a tolerance to the effects of these drugs and the only way to experience that "high" is to either take more or try something stronger.
The reason I am writing about this in a blog is because I recently read an article from TIME magazine that said that there is no evidence that marijuana is a gate-way drug. In the article however they stated the reason for the massive correlation between marijuana and other hard drugs is because of two things. One, the taste, they stated that people who are extremely interested in altering their consciousness are often more likely to want to try other ways of doing it as well. The second reason is that marijuana dealers are easier to get a hold of compared to those who deal hard drugs. Because of this people will go through their marijuana dealers to obtain harder drugs because their dealers are "trusted" and know where to get them.
The problem I have with them saying it is not a gate-way drug is because of what is stated above. They said that marijuana is the first illicit drug people try because it is the easiest to obtain. Once they try it they want to experience other ways of altering their consciousness. Is that not a gate-way into hard drugs then? or am I missing something? They also talked about how users will go through their marijuana dealers to get hard drugs because they know how to obtain them. Is marijuana not acting as a gate way there too? I would be very interested to know what you all think about this argument. This is just my opinion from personal use and also observing others personal use of this drug.