Weed - What's Next?

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. By Jason Botchford
    Source: Winnipeg Sun

    Although most Canadians would like to see less stringent marijuana laws, one-third believe smoking pot leads to the use of harder drugs like heroin and cocaine, according to a new Sun-Leger poll.
    The cross-Canada survey, completed April 1-6, shows 35% of Canadians believe the so-called "gateway" theory. Gateway drugs are those with which people first experiment, and which often lead to the use of more dangerous drugs.


    "It's interesting that we found that a majority of people want relaxed marijuana laws but 35% still believe smoking it will lead to an increase in the use of harder drugs," said Leger pollster Leslie Martin.

    Almost half the respondents -- 49% -- said marijuana would not lead to harder drugs, while 9% said smoking pot would decrease the use of hard drugs and another 9% said they didn't know.

    The "gateway hypothesis" has long been at the centre of the legalization debate and a guiding principal of the federal government's drug policy since the 1950s.

    But studies over the past 10 years have shown marijuana is no more a gateway drug than alcohol or tobacco.

    "This continues to be one of the leading misconceptions in Canada," said lawyer John Conroy, who has worked on some of the country's biggest marijuana court challenges.

    "What is the first drug people try? It's tobacco. If you want to find this gateway drug, look to tobacco or even caffeine."

    The Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs concluded last fall that there is "no convincing evidence to establish the gateway hypothesis.

    "Data from population surveys show that out of 100 cannabis users in adolescence, about 10 will become regular users and five will move to using other drugs," the committee said.

    The poll shows older people are more likely to believe smoking marijuana starts one on a path to harder drugs. Of the poll respondents over 65, 48% said they thought pot increases the likelihood of hard drug use.

    Note: 35% say harder drug use inevitable.

    Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
    Author: Jason Botchford
    Published: Sunday, April 27, 2003
    Copyright: 2003 Canoe Limited Partnership
    Contact: editor@wpgsun.com
    Website: http://www.fyiwinnipeg.com/winsun.shtml

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