Pubdate: Fri, 04 Aug 2017
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Osprey Media
Author: Robert C Sinclair
Page: A10


Re: 'Pot legalization questionable as drug deaths spike.' July 30.

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 or 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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