09
Sep
10

The gateway is shut

Mike Meno at the Marijuana Policy Project hammers another nail in the “Gateway theory” coffin.  He cites yet another study disproving the theory, this time from the University of New Hampshire.

Meno points out that this study – like every objective study conducted on the “gateway theory” – proves that marijuana use doesn’t lead in any causal way to the use of “harder” drugs.  What he doesn’t say, though, is almost more interesting.

Here’s the bit that I found so fascinating from the study.  It turns out that while pot smoking doesn’t predict additional sorts of drug use, there is something that does.  Ready for it?  Here’s the meaty bit from the study:

Whether teenagers who smoked pot will use other illicit drugs as young adults has more to do with life factors such as employment status and stress, according to the new research. In fact, the strongest predictor of whether someone will use other illicit drugs is their race/ethnicity, not whether they ever used marijuana.

So, race is predictive when it comes to who will or won’t go on to use harder drugs.  Which race?  I know what you’re thinking.  Or maybe I don’t.  I dunno.  Hell, I bet this guy knows what I’m talking about:

You sure don't want to light up when you're this flammable

Here’s the surprising or not-so-surprising conclusion from the study, depending upon your perspective:

Non-Hispanic whites show the greatest odds of other illicit substance use, followed by Hispanics, and then by African Americans.

That’s right, white people – it turns out that you’ve been the problem all along.   It’s your gateway.  So, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.  …And then, if you’re white, maybe you should go looking for something harder.

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