Singer, poet, public speaker, and talk show host Henry Rollins has joined the growing ranks of public figures who support ending marijuana prohibition.
Rollins is not a marijuana user, either. As more and more people realize that marijuana prohibition is a harmful failure, the myth that only potheads want to make it legal is continuing to fade into the hazy realm of reefer madness.
For decades, prohibitionists have claimed that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that inevitably leads to use of harder substances like heroin and cocaine — despite the fact that every objective study ever done on the gateway theory has determined that it’s absolute crap.
Last week, researchers at the University of New Hampshire released yet another study discrediting the gateway theory. Their findings, based on survey data from more than 1,200 students in Florida public schools, showed that a person’s likelihood to use harder drugs has more to do with social and environmental factors than whether or not they’ve ever tried marijuana.
“There seems to be this idea that we can prevent later drug problems by making sure kids never smoke pot,” lead researcher Dr. Karen Van Gundy, associate professor of sociology at UNH, told CBS News. “But whether marijuana smokers go on to use other illicit drugs depends more on social factors like being exposed to stress and being unemployed – not so much whether they smoked a joint in the eighth grade.” Continue reading →
The question of why some kids start using alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other drugs at a young age remains a source of controversy. How much of a role do genes play? The environment — peers, parents, educational efforts? What about the “gateway theory,” the idea that one drug — marijuana is the most likely to be blamed — leads to use of others?
A new study of twins recently published online by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence suggests that genes may play a large role, but to some degree every drug is a gateway drug. Continue reading →
Bruce’s interview occurs at about 6:40 on the video below. In it, he shoots down the “gateway” myth, demonstrates prohibition’s many failures, and points out how absurd it is that of the 100 million Americans who have used marijuana, anybody should care that one of them is Michael Phelps.
You wouldn’t know it from their Web site, but it turns out the White House drug czar’s office is legally required to provide the public with facts that are, well, factual. Under the Data Quality act, all government agencies, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy, are responsible for “ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information.”
You could print out the material on ONDCP’s site, throw a dart at the printout, and probably hit an assertion that’s at least suspect. We picked one we found particularly egregious – the demonstrably false title of the drug czar’s publication, “Marijuana: The Greatest Cause of Illegal Drug Abuse.”