Popularization of Worse Drugs

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Meth battle sees new fronts

Location: 
WA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The News Tribune (WA)
URL: 
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/crime/story/6375741p-5687279c.html

'Use Afghan opium for NHS drugs'

Location: 
United Kingdom
Publication/Source: 
The Daily Telegraph (UK)
URL: 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/23/nopium123.xml

Bill would make pot legal in state

Location: 
Concord, NH
United States
Publication/Source: 
Portsmouth Herald (NH)
URL: 
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/01192007/nhnews-ph-nh-pot.bill.html

Gateway Theory Debunked...Again

A 12 year study from the university of Pittsburgh pokes yet another whole in the wet paper napkin known as the "gateway theory."

From NORML:

Investigators said that environmental factors (e.g., a greater exposure to illegal drugs in their neighborhoods) as well as subjects' "proneness to deviancy" were the two characteristics that most commonly predicted substance abuse.

"This evidence supports what's known as the common liability model ... [which] states [that] the likelihood that someone will transition to the use of illegal drugs is determined not by the preceding use of a particular drug, but instead by the user's individual tendencies and environmental circumstances," investigators stated in a press release. They added, "The emphasis on the drugs themselves, rather than other, more important factors that shape a person's behavior, has been detrimental to drug policy and prevention programs."

No kidding. It's such a perfectly logical conclusion, it's hard to understand why anyone thought otherwise. Especially since one study after another has shown the exact same thing.

It shouldn't take 12 years of research by respected social scientists to tell us that trying one drug can't possibly have the psycho-pharmacological effect of making you want some different drug you've never tried before. Marijuana grows on trees. It's ubiquitous. That's why people try it first.

As for the "environmental factors" that actually are useful in predicting behavior, much thanks is owed to drug prohibition for creating a criminal subculture through which illicit drugs are widely available to young people. As a high school student, I had potential access to a far greater variety of drugs than I do now as professional drug policy reform activist. Alcohol was the one thing you couldn't get easily.

Inevitably, the "gateway theory" will not die a sudden death today. It will live on in the form of anecdotal accounts from marijuana "victims" whose progression into addiction will be taken out of context. It's a shame that so many people who are genuinely concerned about the drug problems facing America's youth nonetheless insist on misunderstanding basic facts about drug use.

Imagine the progress that could be achieved overnight if research such the Pittsburgh study were used to make policy.

Location: 
United States

It's time to legalize marijuana in Illinois (Chicago Sun-Times)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/anderson/132863,CST-EDT-monroe12.article

Police: Deli served marijuana on the side (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/15974835.htm

Missoula OKs initiative relaxing enforcement of marijuana laws (Helena Independent Record, MT)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.helenair.com/articles/2006/11/09/montana/a06110906_02.txt

Nevadans: Say no to pot, raise minimum wage, restrict smoking (Las Vegas Sun)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2006/nov/08/110810178.html

South Dakotans defeat medical marijuana measure (Pioneer Press, MN)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15954962.htm

Prescription Painkillers Becoming More Popular Than Marijuana, SAMHSA Says

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Join Together Online
URL: 
http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/prescription-painkillers.html

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