Sun rises in the East, says a reader in response to a recent study revealing that while marijuana legalization has led to higher rates of cannabis consumption in Colorado and other states with similar laws, there's no evidence that it's fueling abuse of more addictive drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
That's the conclusion of the report from LiveStories, which specializes in the analysis of civic data. LiveStories founder Adnan Mahmud summarizes the results like so: "We haven't found any strong correlation that suggests increased marijuana use leads to increases in other substance abuse."
Readers were quick to respond with examples of what marijuana use can lead to. Says Stan:
Maryjuwanna is a gateway to snacks!
It’s a gateway drug to some good sleep.
Gateway to chilling the fuck out.
It's a gateway to moving to Denver! GTFO.
I find cannabis is a gateway to going for a long walk with the dogs or reading a non-fiction book. Some find it a gateway to playing a musical instrument or painting a picture. Some people take photographs, garden, knit, bake bread or do some home improvements. Some skateboard, play hackey sack, swim, fly a stunt kite or dance around the house to their favorite tunes. Some folks plan their next vacation or shop online. Some find cannabis a gateway to great sex. Out of all the options available to someone having just consumed cannabis, turning to cocaine, heroin or meth is the last thing any self-motivated person would want to do.
There are a lot of studies that support both narratives, but it’s fair to say that not all individuals who consume alcohol and marijuana go on to use heroin or cocaine BUT the vast majority of individuals who do use heroin and cocaine did start off using substances that are readily available, such as alcohol and marijuana.
Obviously there are other environmental and biological factors that come into play when it comes to narcotics abuse. I think it's fair to say marijuana and alcohol use is a factor, but at the same time marijuana and alcohol are NOT the only factors either.
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I am 62 and have been consuming cannabis off and on for over 44 years. I am a husband, father, electronics engineer, successful business owner, musician, community volunteer and marathon runner. I never use alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. My health is excellent, and my memory is intact. I vaporize cannabis, no smoke, no smell, no problems. I finished my third marathon at Big Sur Marathon April 2017, first place in my division with a finish time of 3 hours, 25 minutes and 8 seconds. I'm just one of millions of health conscious Americans seeking the healthiest pathways forward in all aspects of my life. How long before the federal government quits lying to us and admits that cannabis is far safer than alcoholic beverages or tobacco?
The madness is over! Legalize, regulate and tax recreational cannabis!
The LiveStories analysis looked at data from Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, all of which have legalized limited recreational marijuana sales and then compared it to national averages. Data for the states was drawn from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Heath, and other sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Mahmud points out, "We do see a spike in marijuana use in Colorado and other other states that's above the national average. But we're not seeing it replicated in other charts." And those other charts reflect use of drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
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