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”.
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