One of the biggest lies in the world is that marijuana is a gateway drug. That is a lie that keeps on taking; it takes away one of the greatest healing plants on earth; it takes responsibility for their own choices away from people; takes the blame for many social ills away from other (legal) substances; and takes freedom from those who know and are aware of this deception.
The argument that marijuana is a gateway drug is just another piece of propaganda aimed at further demonising the plant by misinforming the public. The irony of this fallacy can be seen in the large number of recovering drug and alcohol addicts who used (and continue to use) marijuana to get off the real drugs. Essentially, what can easily be classified as part of the solution is being presented as one of the causes.
In my lived experience, I have been down many roads and I have made some very keen observations on this ‘gateway drug’ theory.
Firstly, I noticed that the demonisation of marijuana had a major influence on where we smoked it. Since it was considered to be this evil thing, we had to go hide to smoke and that exposed us to others who were hiding because they were taking even harder drugs. So, society’s ill-informed perception of marijuana forced us to go to undesirable places where we met undesirable people and were initially exposed to the undesirable elements. What I am saying is, I learned hard drugs because I was forced to smoke weed in places where others were doing hard drugs. Due to the totally incorrect knowledge about marijuana, users of the plant are herded together with those who use the dangerous chemicals. In my pursuit for marijuana, society drove me to places where I was exposed to real drugs.
As I said earlier, countless recovering drug and alcohol addicts managed to escape from the clutches of addiction by using marijuana. I lived that and I have witnessed many do likewise. One thing that most, if not all, drug addicts have in common is alcohol. Recovering addicts always say that their relapses are almost always due to alcohol, one drink and they immediately crave whatever drug they were off. After a couple more drinks, they are nearly certainly going to get hold of their old drug dealers. Honourable mention to those who first tried hard drugs because their inhibitions were lowered through firstly consuming alcohol and ended up addicted to a drug they don’t really remember wanting.
At the end of the day, if you force people to get their marijuana from dealers who sell drugs, you cannot blame marijuana if they end up taking drugs. Everyone’s ignorance on and unwarranted disdain for marijuana are a large part of this gateway that has been attributed to the plant. By treating this plant as if it is what it is not, you expose well-meaning people to things they otherwise would not have been exposed to.
Marijuana is very helpful to those who are coming off drugs, I know this personally. The tragedy is, we live in a world that believes that this (proven) solution is actually the cause of the problem. I could go on forever about whose fault it was initially but I will not because that will make us seem powerless. I would rather tell you that you have been lied to about many things and it is on you to educate yourself and make a place for truth in your life. If you do not, you squander your power and that is on you.