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 an 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)


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")

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)

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)