I’m sure you’ve all heard the anti-legalization argument that marijuana is a gateway drug. As in, it makes users want to try harder, more dangerous drugs such as meth or heroin. Even though there hasn’t been a single study proving that marijuana directly causes you to try harder drugs, people still continue to use and believe this argument.
If anything, the fact that it is illegal makes it a gateway drug. Here’s why:
Nowadays, pretty much anyone that wants to try marijuana can get their hands on it quite easily. When they do finally try it, they cough a little, laugh a bunch and eat some snacks. They begin to think “hmm, this is pretty great, what’s with all the fuss about it being bad for you”. Maybe, they do some research and learn that there has never been a death due to marijuana overdose or of all the medicinal properties of marijuana.
What this does is make the people question the law. Why is this illegal when there’s obviously many benefits and virtually no downsides? Clearly, there’s some alternative motive that the government isn’t telling us, so people begin to distrust the lawmakers.
They continue to enjoy smoking, keep breaking the law and eventually the word “illegal” begins to lose its meaning. They’re breaking the law every day, but they know they’re not hurting anyone so they’re okay with it.
THAT’S the key point: People become okay with breaking the law.
Now, let’s say someone offers them some other harder drug. Most people would turn it down. But some people may think, “Hmm… I was always told marijuana was so bad for you, but turns it was all lie. Maybe all the bad stuff I’ve heard about tobacco, cocaine, or heroine or meth is a lie as well”. And since the word “illegal” no longer scares them, that is one less reason for them to not try harder drugs. It makes the jump from marijuana to dangerous drugs much easier.
By keeping marijuana illegal, it’s being classified in the same category as these other drugs. If it were legalized, there’d be a hard line between marijuana and cocaine, heroin, etc. Also, less people would be breaking the law on a daily basis, increasing its authority. It would make it much harder for people to jump from marijuana to illegal drugs because now, they’re no longer constantly breaking the law. The word “illegal” becomes scarier and the chances of them trying drugs that are actually bad for you decreases.