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Letter to the Editor: The Truth about “Gateway Drugs”

Recently the topic of cannabis legalization has become a regular discussion in these letters to the editor. One thing I have noticed, those writing in favor of changing cannabis laws in Texas generally use fact, logic, reason, and compassion to help make their argument. Those in opposition tend to rely on vitriol, misinformation, and, what appears to be, an utter ignorance on the subject.

The truth is, just about anything can be considered a “gateway drug” to someone with an addictive personality. I feel we are exposed to many other addictions before we are exposed to tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis. Be it chocolate, video games, or your parents approval and love, many children have developed addictive traits well before they ever even understand what “illicit drugs” are.

Does this diminish the fact that people can become addicted to terrible and harmful products? Certainly not. Just look at the statistics for alcohol and tobacco related addiction and deaths. The important thing to realize is addiction is not cured by legislating certain substances into the black market and spreading misinformation about truly helpful natural medications. Addiction can be much better addressed by a safe and regulated market for those substances that generate tax revenue that would allow for education and rehabilitation programs. This is an issue for the medical and psychological professionals in our community, not our prison system.

I am glad this discussion is becoming so prominent in our area, and hope it continues to do so. I do wish that all parties involved would consider what they are saying, and whether they have any actual knowledge on the subject, and are not just regurgitating the same baseless propaganda that has allowed this failed prohibition to go on as long as it has… And cost us as much as it has, with nothing to show for it but increased crime and overpopulated prisons filled with non violent “criminals”.

Jared Cates
Executive Director
Nac NORML

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3 Comments

  1. Joe Haney
    September 22, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I am 64 years young and a strong supporter of the legalization of Marijuana for medical use. I was injured on the job in 1984 and am in chronic pain. The pain medication is very hard to get especially when you have been addicted to it in the past. There are a whole group of people that would benefit from weed. Cancer, those that have chronic pain. children that have life threatening seizures and countless other problems that would greatly benefit from it’s use.
    Tax revenue for the government will come from the sale. Suicide will decrease and a better quality of life for those that had no other means to accomplish that goal. I have never used street drugs for my pain after 16 painful surgeries on my back.
    I do not know how these politicians would do if they had to walk in our shoes for years as many people have done. Many Veterans would be saved everyday if they could get relief from the pains caused by war.

  2. carole schnell
    September 25, 2015 at 9:56 am

    thank you for your accurate explaination. i have lived with pain so severe it goes to your bone marrow. Our brains are on overdrive they need the THC to mellow out so to speak. Humans have an intense desire to learn and what we have taught our disabled and chronic pain sufferers is deadly.

  3. September 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Weed is a gateway drug!!! IT’S A GATEWAY FOR THE CARTELS TO ROB OUR COUNTRY BLIND OVER SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE ILLEGAL TO BEGIN WITH.

    Is it a gateway to harder drugs? Well, no more than going to the dealer’s house is. But wait a minute? Would the dispensary be selling crack? I think not.

    Wake up Texas, if my spring it’s not a done deal I’m selling 12.2 acres of developed land and three homes, and taking my 116k a year job and all the tax money that land and job implies, and MOVING.