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Marijuana is Innocent

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Over the years in society, people have created theories that have no proof behind them. Yet, people believe and follow them even though there is no evidence. One that has parents worried is the gateway theory. We have all been taught that if you smoke pot you are probably going to do harder drugs like heroin. Though there is no evidence to follow this, it seems like a logical statement so people believe it.

An eye opening article by Ryan Grim called “The evidence that pot doesn’t lead to heroin” takes the opposition of this theory. Grim says pot being a gateway drug is incorrect and studies that go against it.

The first study disscussed is by a professor from Mount Sinai School of medicine named Yasmin Hurd. Hurd tested two groups of rats in a lab. In the rat’s adolescences, Hurd gives one group THC (the main ingredient in marijuana) and the other nothing. In their mid-adolescences, she gives both groups heroin to test addiction. Both groups were addicted at the same rate. With the pot using rats ended up taking 25% more heroin than the non user rats, because the marijuana made the group have to take more heroin to get the same effect. Hurd’s evidence concluded that the user rats had a greater sensitivity to heroin, but no higher chances to addiction than the non users.

The second portion of the article was about the study made by Donald Tashkin UCLA medical. He tested a large number of people with smoke related cancer and another group without cancer. In Tashkin’s research, he found no link between marijuana and increased risk of cancer. He also talks about the elements in marijuana that can counteract cancer, and even help people with cancer.

The findings Grim explained were surprising. Being taught from D.A.R.E, health class, and parents, marijuana it said to be a gatewayto harder drugs. As Hurd stated, “it’s a theory that has long seemed to make intuitive sense, but remained unproven.” From school the second part of that statement was kept out. Trying to persuade children to stay away from harder drugs can be a reason. But who’s to say it’s a gateway drug? Marijuana can open people’s perspective differently towards harder drugs, but physically and psychologically there is no relation to increase chances of becoming addicted than someone who does not indulge in smoking the reefer. There are ways to increase pot use: the environment you live in, your family’s past, and being a risk taker.

Besides, if marijuana did make people go into harder drugs, why is it that in a survey taken by National Survey Drug Use and Health in 2004. 97 million people smoked marijuana, but only three million of them have tried heroin? It’s a stretch to say marijuana is the gateway.

Even the study by Hurd proves this theory wrong. Both rats were equally susceptible to getting addicted to heroin. Hurd stated, “Teenagers who smoke pot are no more likely than other kids to become addicted to heroin.” Just when they were addicted, the THC users would become slightly more addicted. In lab the rats would press a button to get a dose of heroin, but in reality can’t just press a button and get heroin

It’s all about your environment. If you live in the ghetto of the cities, you are more likely to join a gang and be able to get harder drugs. At a high school in Wisconsin, there are no gangs to join; hardest drugs are tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. There are harder drugs in this area, but it’s harder to obtain.

According to Tashkin’s studies, people have a higher risk of getting cancer by smoking cigarettes than smoking pot. Marijuana is not as bad as people make it out to be. Smoking one joint is equal to smoking four cigarettes, but when people get into the habit of smoking a pack or two of cigarettes a day. It gives cigarette smokers a higher risk, because people would have to smoke five to ten joints to equal that of cigarettes. Marijuana is healthier for long term users than cigarette users.

People, not drugs, make the decision to go further in drugs. Your family history can contribute to increase these addictions along with your environment. But it is the person, who makes that final decision into using the drugs.





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BDR78 said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Marijuana deont make you anymore addictive to harder drugs. It just opens up a whole new world to you. Thats why when you are high, everything is more enthusiastic. After awhile of smokeing you will get depressed and you wont get the as high, which leads the mind to wanting another drug to keep up the high going.
 
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