Is Marijuana A Drug?
Before we discuss whether this “WEED” – AKA Marijuana – is the gateway to harder drugs, let’s address the elephant in the room… Is Marijuana A Drug?
I personally take offense to marijuana being referred to as a “drug”.
I’m fine with it being called a weed, I grew up referring to it as such. It’s been given many names over the years. Among them:
- Mary Jane
Among many others… including Wacky Tabacky!
“Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug…” – Wikipedia.org
This article on Wikipedia had a long list of hundreds of citations. This leads me to believe that, according to the mainstream, yes it is a drug. According to old-school hippies like me, it isn’t.
Take into consideration that it has been used in the making of both drinks and food. How many drugs are used in this way? A few maybe, like caffeine? Why isn’t coffee considered a drug since caffeine is?
It has been consumed in various other ways besides ingestion. The most common form of consumption is heating it to transform the properties of the cannabinoids into a more potent blend and inhaling the vapors or smoke. To me, that has more of a connotation of an herbal remedy or incense.
I know there’s no way I will ever convince the powers that be that it isn’t a drug. Conversely, there is no way they will ever convince me that it is. As far as I’m concerned, any substance that is naturally occurring should not be considered a drug.
After all, are poppies considered a drug? Or the cacti that contain mescaline? I don’t think so. I think that only the drugs that are extracted from them are considered drugs. And in my opinion, I don’t think these extracts should be considered a drug unless they have been altered or synthesized by a manufacturing process.
My idea of drugs is that they are manufactured or synthesized. They don’t occur in nature. That is precisely what makes them bad for our bodies. Drugs affect the chemical composition of our bodies. They act against nature.
The reason for manufactured or synthesized drugs is so big pharma can keep making tons of money from poor unsuspecting people. For every drug on the market, there is an organic form in nature. But you can’t make big pharma drug type of money from naturally occurring substances.
“…the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” Ezekiel 47:12 KJV
Is Marijuana A Safe Substance (“Drug”)?
I honestly believe it should be reclassified as a psychoactive herb. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that it IS a drug. In that case, is marijuana a safe drug?
“According to DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, ‘cannabis is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.’…” – Wikipedia.org Cit.
“Multiple deaths have been attributed to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.” – Wikipedia.org Cit. 
“…take a look at a few weed-related fatalities and outline the real causes.” – Patrick Lynch, MA, WayOfLeaf.com
I’ve never thought of marijuana as a dangerous substance. But when it comes to concentrates, I have to say those can be potentially dangerous if misused. I experienced this when partaking in some potent BHO for the first time.
When I started smoking some shatter, I couldn’t really tell if I was getting a hit so I tried several more times. By the time I got the hang of it and got a huge hit, it floored me!
All the tiny hits I had been taking were adding up until I got that big one. All of a sudden I felt it all coming on at once and I went to the floor.
It’s my opinion that one should know their limits, which correlates to their tolerance. And if used in moderation, marijuana concentrates can be safe substances. But, because of the nature of concentrates, they can be dangerous if you overdo it.
I’m sure that even if the claims of marijuana-related deaths are true, they don’t come close to the numbers of prescription drug-related or alcohol-related deaths. And these deaths, if any, could only be attributed to concentrates, not flower.
But, can marijuana be useful as a medicine?
Medical Marijuana – Fact Or Fiction
“To date, the FDA has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition.
The agency has, however, approved one cannabis-derived drug product: Epidiolex (cannabidiol), and three synthetic cannabis-related drug products:
- Marinol (dronabinol),
- Syndros (dronabinol), and
- Cesamet (nabilone).
These approved drug products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.
Importantly, the FDA has not approved any other cannabis, cannabis-derived, or cannabidiol (CBD) products currently available on the market.” – FDA.gov
We should all know by now that processed foodstuffs are bad for us. Mainly due to chemical preservatives and other processes they go through. I argue that prescription drugs are much worse for us than cannabis ever will be.
The “refining” process of sugar is what makes it unhealthy for us. Natural sugar has not been linked to any disease that I know of, but refined sugar sure has.
There is no evidence that I am aware of that links naturally occurring forms of related drugs to be unhealthy or dangerous for us in proper doses. I mean, we all know that the use of prescription drugs is harmful to our bodies over time regardless of doses. Yet, the FDA allows the medical world to continue to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs that do about as much harm as good… Moreso in some cases.
What’s the correlation here? Is it money? Power? Population control? All of the above?
But still, marijuana has this reputation for being a “Gateway Drug”.
Marijuana – A Gateway Drug
Is marijuana really a gateway drug? And if so, what is it a gateway drug to?
First off, statistics will show that the majority of marijuana users have at least experimented with other, more potent drugs. But I will argue that this is not necessarily a direct result of having used marijuana beforehand.
I agree that weed has “statistically” been shown to be a gateway drug. But statistics can and have been skewed to show whatever results are wanted by those paying for the research.
But just because people experiment with marijuana and other drugs doesn’t make them an addict, or even ongoing substance users or abusers. However, they do become a statistic for the purpose of proving a point.
Addictive Personalities And The Gateway
I have what you might call an addictive personality. But truth be known, I am an opportunistic addict. I have the tendency to become addicted to whatever I have the opportunity to get my hands on at the time.
I’ve been addicted to cocaine and Valium. But I’ve also been addicted to alcohol, video games, sex, candy, sugar, and even certain foods. It’s my opinion that people can become addicted to anything for which they have an extreme desire.
Someone with an “addictive personality” is more likely to take that gateway from one thing to another whether or not that one thing is marijuana or something different like alcohol.
The Real Gateway Culprit
The underlying reason why most people tend to graduate from marijuana to more potent drugs is peer pressure. It is also the major reason most people begin using marijuana in the first place.
My brother was my “gateway” to using. I can’t say for sure if I would have started getting high otherwise. But if it hadn’t been for my brother it may well have been a good friend to get me started.
I’m quite sure that if there were a “statistical” survey those statistics would show that peer pressure would be the cause of the vast majority of people taking that gateway.
The Party Mentality Gateway
As to where the gateway leads, that will be specific to each individual and those they hang around with. In addition, it will depend on whatever drug happens to be available (the opportunity).
These gateway transitions most often occur through a “party mentality”. People get together with the express intention of getting high and interacting with others. It’s a natural part of social behavior, to be “included”.
Young people can’t go to bars, so they do the next best thing. They gather wherever they can and commence to having a party.
It often begins with drinking and smoking weed, as those two things are readily available. Then a drug pusher hears about the party and sees the perfect opportunity to make some cash. Whatever drug he had the “opportunity” to acquire will be many of the partygoers’ drug on the other side of the gateway that night.
It could be anything from cocaine to methamphetamines, pills, acid, mushrooms, or even heroin. And what we end up with is a lot of opportunistic addicts who just took the gateway from marijuana (and/or alcohol) to a harder drug.
I argue that marijuana’s ready availability is what has earned it the spotlight as a gateway drug.
The truth of the matter is that any drug or substance can be a gateway drug… even alcohol, although it isn’t considered a drug… and why is that?
It all depends on each person’s inhibitions or lack thereof and/or their mentality. A follower mentality stands a better chance of taking that gateway to the next level. A leader mentality is more unlikely to do so.
The real question is, how many people would ever have started using any drug or even alcohol if it weren’t for peer pressure or a party mentality?
Party On Dudes!