Joe Biden is missing the point about marijuana legalization…
You may be surprised to hear this from me, but Joe Biden is right.
Let me explain.
Cannabis is not medically or physically a gateway drug. And there are some studies that indicate that cannabis is even a preventative to more severe drugs, as people find the treatment they need and leave it at that.
But it’s true that just about all heroin abusers tried cannabis first.
It is true that cannabis smokers are much more likely to try another drug.
It’s that simple.
When people in a place where cannabis is illegal decide to try it, they are making a decision and then taking an action that says that they no longer have respect for what the government says is appropriate for them to consume.
And then they try cannabis and only good things happen.
Maybe their back stops hurting, or their anxiety goes down, or maybe they just get an escape from an increasingly complex modern life for a few hours without having a hangover the next morning.
Whatever it is, their belief and their action are validated – the government was wrong about what is appropriate to consume.
What Biden Is Missing
People who have tried cannabis even though the government has told them not to are going to ask themselves what else the government is wrong about.
Is the government wrong about psychedelics?
Some of those drugs people can use without ill effects. Others may be important medical products but do not have a place outside of a pharmacy.
Still others are a pathway to addiction and worse. But since the government is not a trusted source of information about them, too many people try the wrong things.
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And it gets worse.
Illicit drug dealers are salespeople just like the salesperson at Best Buy or the car dealership. They make money when people buy their product and they make more when they can upsell and cross-sell those customers.
So after a few visits to an illicit dealer, cannabis customers find themselves confronted with a talented salesperson with other products.
Products like meth.
So yes, Joe Biden is right that cannabis is a gateway drug. The way to fix that is to legalize it.
Tell people the truth about cannabis – that it is a huge benefit for potentially millions of people and that when used recreationally it is a much better alternative to alcohol.
Send people into licensed dispensaries where the “upsell” product is a gummy and not cocaine.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
15 responses to “Legalizing Cannabis Will End the Gateway Drug Debate”
November 20 2019