Pubdate: Mon, 14 Aug 2017
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Sun Media
Author: Simon Guillet
Page: A4


In reply to Robert Sinclair's letter ("gateway drug theory is flawed")
defending the legalization of marijuana, and his refuting that weed
may be a gateway to harder drugs, the National Institute of Drug
Abuse, as late as April of this year, has stated that "an alternative
to the gateway-drug hypothesis is that people who are more vulnerable
to drug-taking are simply more likely to start with readily available
substances such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol, and their
subsequent social interactions with others who use drugs increases
their chances of trying other drugs."

The Institute on Drug Abuse also says that some research suggests that
marijuana use is likely to precede use of other licit and illicit
substances and the development of addiction to other substances.

While it may be that the majority of pot users may not get addicted to
harder drugs, a study using longitudinal data from the National
Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found that
adults who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey
were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an
alcohol use disorder within three years.

Also, if we believe in full disclosure regarding the Colorado
experience that Mr. Sinclair refers to, in that state, where pot was
legalized, it's been reported there has been a sharp increase in the
number of young people having to seek medical attention due to
overdoses and adverse reactions. The costs to the health-care system
there could well exceed whatever tax revenues are generated.

While it may be popular and "progressive" for some to sing the praises
of legal pot use, we should also be concerned about the possible rise
in addiction and the horrible consequences that it entails on the
lives and health of our population, the apparent difficulty in
preventing or proving weed-impaired driving and the probable
corresponding astronomical rise in health care costs that we can no
longer afford.

Simon Guillet, Sudbury
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