Debunking The ‘Cannabis is a Gateway’ to Harder Drugs Theory With Logic

Gloria Indica

Hi! Welcome to the 14th edition of Gloria Indica, our newsletter written specifically for Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. Wherever you’re from, whenever you’ll read this, this is our newsletter where we train our eyes a bit more specifically to the cannabis, business and technology narratives going on around the world of ours today. Narratives that’ll have an impact on all of us, if not immediately, then definitely in a few years. 

Let’s start blazing. We plan to arm our readers with some intellectual points to win arguements against cannabis prohibitionists.

UK Says Cannabidiol (CBD) is NOT a Narcotic

THC and CBD are two of the most well-known cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. They’re the two most well-known because both of them were the first ones to be discovered by scientists and researchers and hence most of the studies have been conducted with regards to these two. That being said, readers should remember that the cannabis plant contains another 200 odd cannabinoids about which we’re still trying to come to terms with in order to understand how best they can contribute to humanity’s health, wellness and nutritional issues. 

Because of the image of cannabis’ recreational aspect, regulators all over the world still tend to believe that all compounds inside cannabis would amount to be classified as narcotics. The result being CBD almost always tends to be associated with its cousin, THC, which while also being extremely medicinal in nature, is also the compound that’s responsible for psychoactive effects. (As of now, modern science thinks it’s only THC that’s causing the high. We also know about THCV that contributes to the high. What else could be there? We’ve to wait and find out)

Britain says No. CBD is NOT a Narcotic. 

Here’s Hemp Industry Daily explaining Britain’s stand: 

“Great Britain has rejected the European Commission’s preliminary stance that hemp flower-derived CBD should be regulated as a narcotic, a key food safety regulator in the United Kingdom says. Paul Tossel, who leads the Novel Foods authorities at London’s Food Standards Agency, said Tuesday that although British authorities continue to mirror requirements set out by the EU’s Novel Food Regulation and the European Food Safety Authority, they did not agree with the Commission’s assessment.”

The Commission told CBD novel-food applicants in July that cannabidiol extracted from the flowering and fruiting tops of the hemp plant should be considered a narcotic according to a 50-year-old United Nations treaty. If made official, the stance could lead to a ban on flower-derived CBD in foods and supplements on the EU common market, which serves more than 450 million consumers. The status of CBD in Europe is complicated by Britain’s departure from the European Union. The U.K. officially left the EU on Jan. 31, but the two sides are still negotiating the rules that will govern future relations on trade, immigration and security.”

While government regulators all over the world come to terms with cannabis’ practical applications in medicine, foods and beverages, not to mention all sorts of other applications like clothes, the ordinary public need to clearly understand what is and what is not, else they may find themselves simply confused by all the developments taking place around them. 

Let’s keep blazing. 

Is Cannabis a “Gateway” to Harder Drugs? 

We, at Marijuana Maharaj think that this is the only question that remains to be answered by pro-cannabis advocates when it comes to the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. 

  • For justifying medical cannabis, we’ve the fundamental science of the Endo-Cannabinoid System to quash the cannabis opponents.  
  • For justifying industrial cannabis, we’ve cannabis’ durability and strength (in tandem with other materials) to make clothes and construction materials 
  • For justifying using cannabis as a health supplement in the form of edible oils and protein powders, we again have the fundamental science of the Endo-Cannabinoid system to quash the cannabis opponents
  • For justifying recreational cannabis, we still need to answer the “gateway to harder drugs” theory to quash the cannabis opponents once and for all. 

We’ll try our best to help readers win as many intellectual arguements as possible.

Let’s start blazing.

We’ll take some help from Cannigma. Below is their introduction to the topic.

The gateway drug theory refers to the idea that using a substance — typically marijuana — eventually leads to the use of other, more dangerous substances. In other words, it argues that a teenager may think that marijuana is harmless but it will set them down a path that ends in hard drugs. Claiming it is a clear case of cause and effect, proponents of the theory do not take into account any societal, family, mental health, or cultural factors that may make one more likely to use hard drugs. They also don’t address the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

“Correlation does not mean causation” – this is the central fact that underlies the discipline of data science as well. 

For example: if the data says that in a particular region, the number of homicide rates have gone up in tandem with the rise of registered cannabis users – then does that mean using cannabis caused a rise in homicide rates? If, say, the number of cocaine users have increased in tandem with the number of cannabis users, then does that mean using cannabis caused the users to use cocaine as well?

It’s very debatable, and only true when the same cannabis users are also using cocaine, which is not very likely because cocaine users would tend to prefer only cocaine or crack cocaine for their fix, and not cannabis which is much much milder. 

Let’s think and move ahead to other meaningful narratives. 

Which is the most used substance in the world for recreational purposes? 

It’s Cannabis.

WHO says – “Cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused illicit drug. Half of all drug seizures worldwide are cannabis seizures. The geographical spread of those seizures is also global, covering practically every country of the world.”

So, what the cannabis prohibitionists and naysayers are actually saying is this: All the number of cocaine users and all the number of heroin users plus all the number of pharmaceutical opioid users started using cocaine, heroin and synthetics because of their cannabis use. 

It is easy to summarize what the prohibitionists want us to think:

  • All cannabis users are more likely to use cocaine
  • All cannabis users are more likely to use heroin and so on

Quoting Cannigma again: 

“Some people are more likely to try drugs than others, and people who are willing to try drugs are more willing to try multiple drugs. Therefore, because marijuana is the most widely available and used illicit substance in the world, people who have used less popular drugs like cocaine or heroin are more likely to have first used marijuana than those who have not experimented with other drugs. Or to put it more simply, “people who have used other drugs are more likely to have also used marijuana. Not the other way around.”

“Other factors such as a person’s social environment, are critical in their risk for drug use and that an alternative theory 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.

It cannot be more clear than this, and yet somehow it feels very non-intuitive for many people to grasp. We simplify everything again and summarize, before you go off to debate against a cannabis prohibitionist:

  • A human being is a product of many things: parental outlook towards life, socio-economic conditions while growing up, childhood trauma or other incidents, immediate social circle while growing up, education level etc. 
  • Cannabis is very easily available and grows all over the world and hence cannabis, along with tobacco and alcohol is obviously more likely to be tried by people first
  • Going further, it’s the individual’s life interactions that dictate his or her future drug use, whether he or she moves beyond cannabis or not
  • It is not right to say that cannabis use caused an individual to go for harder drugs. 
  • Rather there is scientific evidence to show that cannabis use actually prevents people from going ahead to harder drugs because cannabis effectively helps individuals control their mental outlook towards life without needing to depend on anything else

Let’s keep blazing. 

Have a great day 🙂

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