Since many of us were young, you've heard how marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning it leads a path to harder drugs. Now that studies have proven otherwise, and very few marijuana users ever try other drugs, the only ones spouting the gateway myth is anti-marijuana media. While poverty, mental illness, and prohibition are proven to be real gateways to drug abuse, marijuana is actually proven to reduce hard drug use and treat withdrawal symptoms.
Crime has not increased in states that have legalized marijuana; it’s actually gone down. Surprisingly, opiate overdose deaths have gone down as well.
As I’ve written previously for The Conversation, anyone who actually talks with problem drug users (and doesn’t simply talk about them) knows that marijuana can help drug users prevent, control—even stop—hard drug use.
Original article: http://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-not-gateway-drug-325358