A new study debunks the myth that cannabis users turn into hardcore drug addicts
A much-debated question in society for some years now is whether marijuana use induces the use of other illicit drugs. Those who share this opinion argue that, even if cannabis is considered less dangerous, it can serve as a stepping stone or bridge to other prohibited drugs that are much more dangerous. However, many more studies have shed light on the subject, indicating that the legalization of this plant does not increase substance use disorders or the use of other illicit drugs. The new study from the University of Colorado Boulder makes it clear that marijuana is not considered a “gateway drug.”
In the 1970s, the only concern was thinking that marijuana led to heroin or LSD use. Instead, the main concern now is that cannabis use may lead to the use of cocaine or other synthetic drugs. Experts from this University published earlier this month a study showing that even with the opposing thoughts still in place, no changes in illicit drug use were found after legalization.
In fact, the findings were able to show that cannabis use could even be essential to reduce alcohol-related problems. The study also found no relationship between cognitive, psychological, social, relational and financial problems and marijuana legalization.
“We really didn’t find any support for a lot of the harms people worry about with legalization,” said lead author Stephanie Zellers, who began the research as a graduate student at CU Boulder’s Institute for Behavioral Genetics. “From a public health perspective, these results are reassuring.”