The anti-marijuana narrative has held onto the same innacurate beliefs for far too long, including the fallacy that marijuana is a gateway drug. But after many states have legalized the drug in some form and the data is clearly pointing the other way, the U.S. Attorney General admits that prescription drugs, and not marijuana, are the true gateway drugs to opioid abuse. The Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, spoke to a group of high school students this week about opioid and heroin abuse when one student asked if recreational marijuana could lead to the abuse of stronger drugs. Rather than stick to the 'say no to drugs' mantra, Lynch explained that heroin and opiate addictions typically start in a medicine cabinet and not through 'trafficking rings'. She continues to say that while those who expiriment in life may use marijuana, it is not a specific gateway to other drugs as previously believed.
“In so many cases, it isn’t trafficking rings that introduce a person to opioids. It’s the household medicine cabinet. That’s the source,” Lynch told students before fielding questions from the audience.
“When we talk about heroin addiction, we usually, as we have mentioned, are talking about individuals that started out with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin,” Lynch said.
“It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids – it is true that if you tend to experiment with a lot of things in life, you may be inclined to experiment with drugs, as well,” Lynch added. “But it’s not like we’re seeing that marijuana as a specific gateway.