One would think as we’re about to enter into the year 2022 that Reefer Madness had gone the way of the dodo. One would expect that science and reason would be what dictate our policies. However, for all of us who have had the distinct privilege to live through what can only be described as a “Cosmic Clusterfudge of a Year”; 2021 has shown us that up is down and madness has taken center stage.
This is perfectly illustrated in a recent “News 12” anti-cannabis hit piece where they have followed the 2021 playbook and resurrected the old “Gateway Theory” chapter of Reefer Madness.
Of course, any informed human being would know that if the gateway theory were true – then substances like Sugar, Coffee, Chocolate, Sex, and even exercise would be subjected to the same scrutiny. Within the parameters of the Gateway Theory – Trick or Treating can Lead to Heroin addiction considering that sugar is about as addictive as cocaine and activates opioid receptors activating the reward center of the brain.
“Cassie Bjork, RD, LD, founder of Healthy Simple Life, states that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine.
“Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.”
Bjork adds, “Every time we eat sweets, we are reinforcing those neuropathways, causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave sugar, building up a tolerance like any other drug.”
For those not familiar with the Gateway Theory, Drug Policy Facts defines it as;
“The gateway effect, if it exists, has at least two potential and quite different sources (MacCoun, 1998). One interpretation is that it is an effect of the drug use itself (e.g., trying marijuana increases the taste for other drugs or leads users to believe that other substances are more pleasurable or less risky than previously supposed). A second interpretation stresses peer groups and social interactions. Acquiring and using marijuana regularly may lead to differentially associating with peers who have attitudes and behaviors that are prodrug generally, not only with respect to marijuana. One version of this is the possibility that those peers will include people who sell other drugs, reducing the difficulty of locating potential supplies. If the latter is the explanation, then legalization might reduce the likelihood of moving on to harder drugs compared to the current situation.” – Drug Policy Facts
In other words, using one drug will “awaken the fiendish taste for MORE DRUGS!” because you become hooked on the feeling of pleasure and due to diminished returns – you increase potency & substance to achieve the “same highs”. On the other hand, it could be of social connection since you’d be hanging out with your junkie friends, who all want to smoke some smack and shoot up some marijuanas.
This is the Gateway Theory in a nutshell.
Breaking down “News” 12’s Propaganda…
To be fair, within the opening paragraphs of the article – they do cite someone who says that “the vast majority of users would not go on to try harder drugs…” yet I believe this was to disarm the reader. Immediately afterwards, the article states;
“This is not your ‘Woodstock’ weed…that’s the bottom line,” she says. “The THC component is so much higher. Most kids will either vape or dab, which is the wax they put in a vaping pen, and dabbing can have a 99% concentrated THC, which is why you find kids in emergency rooms.” – Some lady named Judy
The statement above feels like it was produced by first generation A.I trying to imitate human speech. These are all soundbites that have been echoed by the US propaganda machine for decades. “This ain’t your grand-pappy’s weed” has be regurgitated since the late 90s and early 2000s. It almost feels like that scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where the “marijuana expert” was talking to a room full of cops, singing the same fear-mongering ignorance to further their agenda.
While it’s true that higher potency weed does pack a punch and someone who doesn’t know their proverbial “crap” could freak out thinking they need to rush to the emergency room – the vast majority of consumers don’t reach those points.
This also isn’t saying that cannabis is harmless. There are people who do have negative effects from cannabis. However, this only really happens in a very small subset of users. Not every organism is the same, and no one is arguing that – but smoking marijuana will not lead you to heroin…which is what the article is trying to make you believe.
Remember the guy from the beginning of the article that said “not everybody does harder drugs when they smoke marijuana?” Well, he chimes in a bit later down in the article saying;
“Understand marijuana is for one purpose…it’s to feel good it may give you some heightened awareness at a concert or a movie. But if you start using marijuana to help you sleep at night, to help stimulate your appetite, to help you cope with the days stress, that’s not what it’s for,” says Pachter. “That’s where you’re going to be self-medicating, and who knows what other issues you can wind up developing from there.”
No Pachter, marijuana is not for “one purpose”. Marijuana has many different purposes, “feeling good” is one of them, but many other use it for spiritual reasons, health reasons, economic motivations, creativity, etc. Cannabis is precisely there for the things he said that it isn’t there for. Cannabis does help some people sleep. Not sleeping is terrible for your health. Cannabis is there to help you develop an appetite…ask any anorexic what not eating does to the mind and body. Stress can lead to heart attacks, using cannabis to unwind at the end of a long day is a means of reducing your risk of stroke and heart attack. Couple that with some exercise – and cannabis can actually help keep you young and healthy.
However – while I’m ranting on about the stupid crap these clueless twats are saying about cannabis – have you noticed that there was actually no evidence for their suggested “gateway theory”. At no point did they say, “Smoking weed leads to harder drugs” despite the fact that the headline advertised it.
This is a perfect example of propaganda. It might look like news, but it reeks of BS.