Pubdate: Thu, 03 Aug 2017
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 North Bay Nugget
Author: Robert C Sinclair
Page: A4


The following is in response to the letter Pot legalization
questionable as drug deaths spike which appeared July 21.

Dear Editor: I am writing in response to Simon Guilett's letter in which 
he proposes the gateway theory to drug addiction. His idea is that 
marijuana leads to cocaine and cocaine leads to opiates.

This position has been disproven a number of times.

Whereas, it is true that likely 98 per cent of opiate addicts began by
using marijuana, it is also true that only two per cent or so of
marijuana users go on to use opiates.

Indeed, they probably began drinking alcohol before using marijuana.
Maybe we should ban alcohol.

The gateway theory involves flawed logic. We could easily apply it to
another situation and conclude that drinking mother's milk causes
alcoholism. Whereas, it is true that about 96 per cent of alcoholics
started out drinking mother's milk, it is also true that only about 10
per cent of mother's milk users go on to become alcoholics.

Finally, recent data from Colorado (where marijuana is legal) has
shown a significant drop in rates of opiate addiction. These data are
correlational, so I'm not sure exactly what to make of them, but they
too speak against the gateway theory of drug addiction.

Robert C Sinclair

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