Many cannabis enthusiasts are familiar with the history of marijuana and understand that it is indeed NOT a gateway drug to harder drugs, however many people in the general public still hold this view purely because it's been fed to them for years. Well the Benjamin Carter Center for Public Policy Initiatives is here to spread the truth by releasing a discussion brief, "The Marijuana Gateway Fallacy". The myth that cannabis is a gateway drug has persisted over the years in politics, despite mountains of scientific evidence suggesting otherwise. This discussion brief explains how perpetuating this myth "not only wastes resources but actually harms numerous individuals,". The falsity which drives many anti-drug policies has harmed countless people over the years, far more than cannabis ever actually could.
The report was co-authored by Eve Waltermaurer, an epidemiologist; Leah Mancini, a 2017 SUNY New Paltz graduate and Benjamin Center student researcher; and Gerald Benjamin, a distinguished professor of political science at SUNY New Paltz and director of the Benjamin Center.
They find the gateway drug theory was both promoted and persists for political purposes “despite the great and increasing weight of contrary scientific evidence.”
The authors argue political use of the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug has done more social harm than marijuana use itself because the resulting drug policies have diverted attention from the opioid crisis and stigmatized individuals with criminal records.