Dispelling the Gateway Drug Myth

By Robert Hoban. Instead of acting as a gateway drug, cannabis is proving to be an effective exit strategy for people suffering from opioid addiction.

Since the days of “Reefer Madness” – when marijuana was commonly referred to as “The Real Public Enemy Number One” – opponents of cannabis use have tried to position it as a dangerous doorway leading directly to the abuse of hard drugs like heroin.

How ironic, then, that more up-to-date research has found the reverse to be true.

The reality is that states with legal marijuana programs are reporting fewer deaths from opioid overdoses as well as a drop in Medicare prescriptions, a reduction in opioid-related prescriptionsand, particularly for drivers aged 21-40, a reduction in opioid-related vehicular accidents.