Post by Ask Jan on Jan 9, 2012 8:05:20 GMT -8
Why Hasn’t Medical Marijuana Been Legalized In All Fifty States by Now?
Let us look more closely at the main argument that the marijuana “opponents” offered (at least until very recently) as their “trump card” objection to the legalization of that substance. This objection is based upon the so-called “gateway drug” theory that states that, even if marijuana is not dangerous in itself, it serves as a “gateway drug” to the use of other, much more dangerous substances.
This theory is now discredited by the science of addiction medicine as invalid. The reasons being: There is no “cause and effect” relationship between a substance use and a subsequent addiction to another substance. Most of us have tasted alcohol, consumed caffeinated beverages, eaten sweet foods or even smoked cigarettes, but we have not progressed to being cocaine or heroin addicts as a result. As Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook explains, most people who are addicted to anything became addicted not because they had used some “gateway drug” but because they are somehow genetically prone to this or that particular addiction (alcoholism for example). People do not become alcoholics because they may have smoked a joint that led them to alcohol abuse; they are alcoholics because they have a genetic predisposition to become dependent on that particular substance. The opiate addicts began their addiction careers not because they were exposed to marijuana, but either because of a primary exposure to heroin, or because of opiates having been prescribed to them by medical professionals.
Here we deal with yet another aspect of this story – the substance’s addiction liability, or the percentage of people who develop an (addiction-spectrum) disorder after an exposure to a particular substance. Marijuana has an addiction liability of (3) percent, compared with 10 percent for alcohol, (18) percent for cocaine, up to (21) percent for opiates, and between (50 and 75) percent for nicotine. This is why even President Obama had such trouble quitting cigarettes out of all the substances that he had “tried” while a young man.
This constitutes yet another big reason why the classification of marijuana as the Schedule I substance is nothing short of ridiculous. It was recently discovered that the same brain centers become activated when a person is craving sugar and cocaine. Are we now to consider sugar as a “gateway drug” to cocaine? Well, this would follow if the so-called “gateway drug” theory were valid. It is not valid. Most patients in detox facilities and rehabilitation clinics smoke cigarettes. This alone would invalidate the “gateway drug” theory in my opinion.
Medical professionals should not be puppets to the DEA and its outdated and scientifically faulty scheduling classifications. Without brave doctors, nurses, and researchers who are not afraid to stand up and proclaim the scientific truths, the people would never have legalized medical marijuana in one single State.