( 4UMF NEWS ) Marijuana Not A Gateway Drug After All:
Pass the joint. Marijuana is not as addictive as heroin nor a gateway drug, a new report says, and regulating its use does no harm to the public.
The blunt talk comes from a groundbreaking new study issued Wednesday from the Toronto-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, which argues anti-pot activists are blowing smoke.
The center’s director, Dr. Dan Werb, said in the report, “More and more jurisdictions are reconsidering their policies on cannabis, yet the public discourse around cannabis is filled with frequently repeated claims that are simply not supported by the scientific evidence.”
Stoners can celebrate because an international team of researchers studied 13 claims made about reefer use and regulation — and then went back to the original studies to repudiate the claims.
Among the earlier claims refuted: marijuana leads users to harder drugs.
“The claim confuses correlation and causation,” said Dr. Carl Hart, a professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University.
Another claim: Cannabis is more addictive than heroin.
The researchers found that 1 in 4 heroin users become addicted, but only 1 in 10 pot smokers do.
Studies denouncing marijuana overstate or misinterpret the evidence against it, the report said — and that could backfire legally.
Regulation would not lead to an increase in availability, users, drug crime, drug tourism or an industry that prioritizes profits over public health, the researchers maintained.
It’s now an era of “more and more places reforming their drug laws,” according to Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at the UK-based Transform Drug Policy Foundation. And Rolles argued: “It is time our leaders stopped scare-mongering and came clean with the public about the facts when it comes to regulating cannabis.”