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It most definitely depends on the person. For many, marijuana is all they need. But then there are others, like myself, that have a tendency to explore other intoxicants after being introduced to it. If I've learned anything about marijuana through my use it is that it's an extremely versatile drug. In addition, it's going to amplify what's already going on in your brain. So it certainly serves as a gateway drug for a lot of people but it's not a cookie cutter situation as the media makes it out to be. Of course, this is only my opinion based on my own drug experiences and watching the experiences of others around me. 

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I guess since alcohol is legal it doesn't get referred to as a drug but I think most people would agree that it is.

I agree. Was recently reading a study that argues the point that alcohol is the 'real' gateway drug, we just don't tend to think of it as such. I don't think id have even done anything else I have if it weren't for alcohol and alcoholism.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Alcohol is more dangerous in my opinion.



I have never understood why marijuana has been called a "gateway drug."


I don't buy into the gateway drug theory.  Besides, in my opinion, if anything were going to be considered a gateway drug, it would be alcohol.  However, I still do not see a causal relationship between alcohol use and a lifetime history of illicit substance abuse.


I'm interested in reading other replies to this post.

Alcohol was definitely my gateway drug, I wanted something else to get a better high. 

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Haha, FC, I'd had just automatically inserted the NOT--I didn't even catch it until you pointed it out.


I noticed the typo, and the rest of the statement made it obvious that she meant to say NOT. It happens.


I figured I would add more here. I had a thought. If marijuana did not exist, but all the other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, etc. still existed, would people still abuse and become addicted to them? The answer to that question is obvious to me. Yes. Can using cannabis give someone the false belief that other illicit drugs are not as dangerous as experts say they are? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. However, in this hypothetical world in which cannabis does not exist, this same person will likely find another reason to try one of the more dangerous drugs but with a different justification. Those of us who have a tendency towards drug abuse and addiction rationalize the substance abuse. If there is such thing as a "gateway effect" it is simply that, a rationalization a person with addictive tendencies has towards abusing harder drugs.

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I'm seriously not trying to run a guild trip here, but have any of you ever been to Juarez, Mexico?  Its been almost two decades since I've been, but even back then, holy shit, that place is the asshole of the 9th circle of hell.  And since then its only gotten worse.  The truth is we are sending literally tons of cash and firearms down there to the point that cartels are the government.  Until we get this shit fixed, I in good conscious, cannot participate in being any part of the drug trade (and that includes the enforcement side).  The whole thing is fucked and in our typical American hubris, we are making the lives of millions miserable without even considering the consequences.  

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It certainly was for me, and it landed me into ecstacy, hallucinogens, which further landed me into panic attacks/depression, which now has me on Effexor and benzos.


Drug use really just isnt worth it.  I hate that I'm on these drugs now, but I accept I have to take them and they help.  But if I could go back in time, I would stop my drug use at caffeine, because ever since drugs I haven't found a stable me.  When I stop taking meds, my panic attack return and the cycle starts over again.


Just remember folks, what goes up, will eventually have to come down.

Edited by Derek
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I never used to do "drugs" as a teenager but After starting to smoke cigarettes(im now in my 20's) I started to drink alcohol A LOT, now I feel the urge to try a joint or to *try* ecstasy. I know I shouldn't coz of my schizoprenia but hell its tempting!!

Cigarettes in my opinion would be the gateway drug for me.

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I don't think it leads people to other drugs for reasons like they want a better high


IME, people who are open to altering their mind/perception are just likely to smoke cannabis first because it's so common- the fact that it's so widely used and available just means that's the go-to first.


I think if only marijuana didn't exist, but all other drugs did, addiction to drugs like heroin and cocaine would look just about the same


I sort of agree with other posts like you meet people who sell other stuff- happened with me, but i think it's a matter of "correlation does not equal causation".

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I think that it probably is but I see this as a good reason to legalise it. Despite being illegal cannibis is pretty much seen as a harmless substance and most people will try it at some point. As other's here have said, this does undermine the whole message of how all drugs will melt your brain and turn you into a prostitute with missing teeth. Going from cannabis to heroin is not a natural progression; it's not like going from beer to whiskey, but the fact that you have to buy cannabis ilegally might lead you to trying other drugs since all these substances have been lumped together. So I actually think that legalising it would be a good thing since it would remove this gateway to more dangerous drugs.

I have smoked dope but I never really liked it much.

Edited by Fugazi
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  • 2 weeks later...

When I was a teenager, my dad told me about all the common illegal drugs, and which he thought were safe, and which were not. He told me not to smoke cocaine, and that if I used PCP, if it didn't kill me, he would. Other than that, he said "Don't be an idiot." So I did a lot of drugs in my teens and 20s (and 30s, and 40s), but was never really worried about it. Meth wasn't a "thing" when I was growing up. I did try it, and hated it.


He also said that all heroin addicts' gateway drug was milk. It is a facile premise.

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The only time I tried any drugs - only weed, was when I was drinking alcohol! See, I am addictive but I take an all or nothing approach.  Either don't do it or get into.  So, for me, drugs  are a no no but I still drink occasionally, never smoke weed anymore though.  Probably good thing I don't seek it out and stay away from all the people and places that were a danger for me.  It is all too easy to get into drugs - where there is a will there is a way.  As for gateways, only if you are addictive in the first place!

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  • 1 month later...

The whole concept of "gateway drugs" is bogus and has zero basis in scientific research.


Correlation is not causation.


What I do think happens is that when cops come into schools with programs like DARE and lie to kids about how all drugs are bad and smoking pot will make you jump of a building because you'll think you can fly, kids get really misled.  When they do get around to trying pot, they find out they have been lied to and wonder if what they were told about all the other drugs was a lie too.  They might then experiment with harder stuff and that's where lives start to get fucked up.



VE hit my response MUCH before I even read this. Hit the nail on the head.


Is weed most commonly the first drug people try? Probably, but I think it's the act of trying something that you have been told is so very very awful and horrible and finding out that maybe it isn't that does it, not the weed itself. I like other people's responses of alcohol and cigarettes- but I think it's all the same really, just with the absence of the law on your side. It's trying something "awful for you" and liking it. Make you wonder what else you might like. What else might be not as bad as people say. My gateway drug was a prescription of percocets the dentist gave me.


People find something that they like- end of story. For some people it's crack cocaine and for some it's sugar and for some it's jogging. Either way it's something that makes you feel good, at least for a while. Some people can continue with it for a long long time without the negatives outweighing the benefits, and for some people it turns into a fucked up downward spiral. And I believe that whether it's crack or sugar or jogging. I know people who can occasionally smoke crack np and other people who compulsively exercise. Humans need vices, and vices are like anything in life- a challenge to manage.

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I'd just like to weigh in on this topic. Others have made many good points already. My personal opinion based on personal experience is that any drug is a gateway drug. Once a person starts down "the chemical path" it inevitably leads to more chemicals, whether it's illicit or prescription. We are chemical beings and it's well known that ingesting certain chemicals can affect other chemicals inside us. What isn't well known (if not known at all) are the long term implications for ingesting chemicals, legal or otherwise. Generally the rule is that the more synthetic a chemical is, the more potential it has to be toxic. This not only applies to drugs, but also to food (more chemicals).

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