Debate:Are alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine gateway drugs?

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If you start with any of these, you are likely to move on to harder stuff. -- (unsigned remark by User:Ed Poor, who gave starting comments for both the "yes" and "no sections")

Please define "likely" and your evidence that it is true. I drink and have never used either marijuana or nicotine. Brewer13210 18:23, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon, then beer from a bottle! An' the next thing ya know, your son is playin' for money in a pinch-back suit. And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'. One fine night, they leave the pool hall, headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry! Libertine men and scarlet women, and ragtime, shameless music that'll grab your son and your daughter with the arms of a jungle animal instinct: mass-steria!
—Meredith Willson, "Trouble," from The Music Man
Dpbsmith 19:44, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

At one time in my life, I thought marijuana was great, why the hell is illegal? I thought that it was much better to smoke pot than drink alcohol (nobody beat their wife from smokin pot). I figured out later in life that the people I grew up with who smoked, no longer found the buzz suffucient, experimented with stronger drugs then they all ended up with coke problems, crack, ultimately strung out on prescription drugs like oxycotin. Weed: gateway drug? you bet it is. Alcohol is a gateway to insanity. Nicotine is a gateway to a painful decline of health and ultimately ones death.--jp 21:35, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

Marihuana, yes, but only because it is illegal. Yes for the same reason to a lesser extent for the ethyl and the other leaf (illegal for under-21 and under-18). Why? Well, to quote an old friend, it gets you used to meeting seedy types in suspect environments and transacting clandestine deals. If it was legal, no one using it would learn how to buy illegal drugs. Human 21:21, 23 April 2007 (EDT)
So if Marijuana were legalized, would it help prevent people from going on to harder drugs? Czolgolz 09:27, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
That the conclusion that can be drawn from his theory, yes. They would still have yet to learn how to find drug dealers and interact with them, for example. Human 12:08, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

There's another reason to say "yes", which also relates to society and its rules rather than the drugs in question. That is that the herbal jazz cigarettes are described to the uninitiated as being a terrible, terrible thing (in various education programs and pamphlets). If and when the youth actually tries the sweet leaf, they discover it's "not so bad" after all. Then they might very well question the things they have been told about "harder" drugs. Human 12:08, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

I feel that weed GENERALLY, not always, is a gateway drug. Most people I know that smoke Marijuana are not taking anything else. However I believe that once taken the need or the drive to take something stronger is felt.--DudeImJon 14:32, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

I had some friends that started to experiment with alcohol, marijuanna, and cigarettes during senior year of high school. Now all of them are on harder stuff like crystal meth and cocaine. So yes, they are gateway drugs. Marijuanna is already illegal and I believe that we need to ban substances such as alcohol and nicotine. -- Jose83


There is no evidence for this. That's all a bunch of moralistic hooey. -- (unsigned remark by User:Ed Poor, who gave starting comments for both the "yes" and "no sections")

There is ABSOLUTELY no medical evidence to say that one drug leads to another.

Experts Discount Marijuana as Big Factor in Crime but Drive on It Will Be Pressed. Studies by the Committee on the Marijuana problem in the City of New York, appointed by Mayor La Guardia in January, 1939, have led the committee to the conclusion that ... "juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice o smoking marijuana." Further findings are ... that its use "does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocain[sic] addiction" and that "the publicity concerning the catastropic effects of marijuana smoking in New York City is unfounded."
New York Times, January 12, 1945, p. 22
Dpbsmith 19:44, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree with Dpbsmith: most people drink alcohol (some more than others) and most of them probably started in their teens, yet most people do not became heavy drug users as they get older, it's as simple as that.

I think you mistook what I was saying. I didn't write the sentence that opened the section, Ed Poor did. I did indeed post a quotation from a news story about a 1945 mayor commision that concluded that the use of marijuana did not lead to the use of heroin or "cocain." In terms of which side I'm on, all I can say is that I haven't seen any convincing reason for treating alcohol and marijuana as being in different categories in terms of the law or public policy. Nicotine is interesting because it is probably more damaging to health and more addictive than either alcohol or marijuana, but does not cause intoxication, so nicotine users pose less of a risk to others... there's no issue of "driving while smoking." Dpbsmith 12:05, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

As for Marijuana, how many of today's businesspeople, doctors, scientists, etc have smoked some while they were in college? I don't claim to know the exact percentage, but I think that proves a point.

Middle Man
Add "ex-Presidents of the United States" to the list. Dpbsmith 14:32, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
Add current Presidents to this list. ColinRtalk 14:33, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

I smoked marijuna every week for three years, but never tried anything harder. Since I moved back to the US in 2001, I haven't touched it. Czolgolz 11:24, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

My various addictions, habits, and chemical/herbal recreations over the decades have never shown any correlations. And none of the good stuff (like single malt) led to nasty white powder problems. Human 21:24, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

There is no such thing as a "gateway" drug, saying marijuana led to heroin is like saying Florida led to North Pole. It's all the Orwellian government and its corrupt minions. Wooyi 15:25, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

All the statisitcs I've seen on this look at it backwards. They say X% of cocaine users started out using marijuana. The significant statistic is the percentage of marijuana smokers who go on to use cocaine. I never see those statistics quoted. Perhaps French fries are a gateway drug; I bet more than 90% of cocaine users in this country had previously eaten French fries at some point. PortlyMort 11:19, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

I do not believe so. I have regretfully used all three drugs and have never moved on to and have never desired moving on to harder drugs. I feel like if you have the will to avoid items like heroin, cocaine, and the like, you will, and no amount of peer pressure will steer you otherwise. WesleySHello! 22:30, 7 November 2008 (EST)

Marijuana is, but alcohol and tobacco aren't

No, I don't happen to believe this is true, but of course this is the conventional wisdom, and an often-cited rationale for treating marijuana in a different way, in the law and as a matter of public policy, from alcohol and tobacco. Hey, Ed, exactly what were you up to when you put all three of them together? Dpbsmith 14:34, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Agree, I would say it is people's natural instinct to resist change, "addiction to status quo". Wooyi 15:27, 3 June 2007 (EDT)
Let's not forget that the only reason alcohol is legal in this country is that when it was made illegal, that caused new problems without stopping people from drinking. I don't think anyone who has considered the question honestly can maintain that alcohol is not a far more dangerous drug than marijuana or nicotine or probably many other illegal drugs. Alcohol causes violence, reckless behavior, etc., in ways that even the strongest opiates cannot. It is not as addictive as many other drugs, but addiction to it is among the most damaging addictions to health, both physical and mental, and the most resistant to cure. (This may be only because it is so widely available.) Moreover, there is a substantial youth culture centered around drinking. If the worst thing that could be said about this culture was that it brought youth to other drugs, that would be an improvement. --Andy 20:45, 17 November 2007 (EST)


That's difficult

I would say that Marijuana is, but only because it is illegal, and therefore must be purchased from a guy who'd also like to hook you on anything he can, and isn't real scrupulous about how that gets done. Tobacco is, maybe. I think people are unlikely to try smoked drugs without first smoking cigarettes, but that may be because those two things are attractive to the same people, and cigarettes are a bit easier to come by. Alcohol is not.

At one time some dealers of pot would lace the drug with small quantities of something harder. Then they would stop doing that and hope the cistomer would move up. Markr 13:15, 15 November 2008 (EST)

They are all "gateway drugs" in the sense that those prone to abuse and seek greater detachment/escapism/(choose a motive) through drugs are likley to start on one or more of these more commonly available subtances before moving on to other drugs. On the otherhand, if the term "gateway drug" is used in a way that suggests a majority of users are necessarily or likely to go on to further things then there is no particular evidence of this, other than the fact (made in the comment above) that cannabis is illegal and users are more exposed to other drugs. The term gateway drug is, like many 'slippery slope' arguments used when the debator lacks the knowledge in other credible arguments. DavidMilton1 18:53, 17 March 2012 (EDT)

Absolutely not

Marijuana is not a gateway drug in any sense of the word. If you smoke/have been smoking marijuana for a while, you will not eventually start heroine, cocaine, meth, etc. The whole myth of it being a gateway drug is just that: A myth, mostly created by the government during the "Just say no" period of the Drug War. In addition, marijuana is not lethal (Unless you smoke a couple THOUSAND.), and it does not kill braincells. These are, once again, just myths/lies/fibs/etc created by the government. Simple, really. --GunnerRecall 16:43, 17 August 2008 (EDT)

Oh thank you. Now I'll start to use Marijuana because you completely convinced me with your facts, proofs and logic. Not. --AdamE 11:22, 29 August 2008 (EDT)