One of babylon's main arguments against herb is that it is a "gateway" drug. The only reason it could be construed as such is that since herb is an illegal substance, dealers selling herb likely sell other illegal substances as well. If herb was legal, people could just go to a store and buy herb without being offered any other substance.
Study: Marijuana May Not Be Gateway Drug
In lobbying for keeping marijuana illegal, many advocates say that it's a "gateway drug" that will lead to people using stronger drugs like cocaine and heroin. But a new study of Miami-Dade public schools is casting doubt on the claim.
University of New Hampshire researchers found that young adults who used marijuana as teens and then used other substances weren't linked after other sources of stress like unemployment went away, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The study looked at 1,286 children, teens, and young adults who went to Miami-Dade public schools in the 1990's. The study's participants were 26 percent African-American, 44 percent Hispanic, and 30 percent non-Hispanic white.
Among the factors that played as much of a role as marijuana use for people who used harder drugs were: education, employment, stress, and age.
The data showed that after the age of 21, the gateway effect of marijuana into other drugs effectively disappeared.
According to the study, those who used marijuana as teens and other drugs as young adults were more likely to not graduate from high school or attend college. It also showed that those who smoked pot as teens and were out of work after high school were more apt to use other drugs.
The study's authors said that employment in young adulthood can close the marijuana gateway and that "over-criminalizing youth marijuana use might create more serious problems if it interferes with later employment opportunities."