Gateway Environment


One of the most talked about reasons for marijuana illegality is the gateway theory. It says that people who use marijuana are more likely to harder drugs. The way I see it is that there is either a biological mechanism or environmental factors that could lead to proving the gateway theory.


In this article researchers looked at the drug usage of highs school seniors and compared the results with different demographics. One relationship that they found was that the students that use only marijuana are more likely to be more acceptable of their peers harder drug use. This could be evidence to support the gateway theory, but the study also found that African-Americans are more acceptable of hard drug use, but they are less likely to actually do hard drugs. When you look at this as a whole it seems to me that this is evidence that there is not a biological mechanism that leads marijuana user to harder drugs because two groups of people are showing very different trends. This points to an environmental factor.


I think that the gateway to harder drugs is that people are exposed more to harder drugs in music and other media. Researchers should look into the possibilities of people being desensitized to the dangers of hard drugs, which in turn lower their fear of trying them. Tobacco companies can no longer advertise tobacco product on TV and we are seeing a decrease in the rate of people using tobacco products. I believe that the same relationship could exist with harder drugs. Hard drug use in media like music and movies could be acting as effective advertising for hard drugs. Drug dealers could be benefiting greatly from some free advertising resulting in our society normalizing their product. It could be time to start looking at a different gateway to hard drugs other than marijuana use. 



It's funny how pot is the go to target when we talk about gateway drug use in America. The problem is that we live in a fully medicated society. You happy? Take these downers. You sad? Take these uppers. You hurt? Painkillers! Celebration? It ain't a party without the booze. You see what I'm getting at? Sure media always plays a role, but hard illegal drug use isn't prevalent is pop-culture. There is something they aren't looking at. Maybe it's that pot isn't a hard drug, and only when we stress that it is does it become one.

I would have to argue that hard drug use is much more prevalent in pop-culture than ever before. Up until recently have you ever heard a song that mentioned molly? Was molly even a thing one generation ago? Im positive that it wasn't a thing two generations ago. What I'm getting at is any kind of exposure to hard drugs (it could be just hearing people talk about a song) is getting more common today than ever before.

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