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GATEWAY THEORY & Cannabis studies completed


We found that marijuana use within itself wasn't a risk factor for use of other drugs," said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center's department of population health. "People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn't mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs." source WebMD

The Gateway Drug Theory suggests that licit drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol, serve as a “gateway” toward the use of other, illicit drugs. However, there remains some discrepancy regarding which drug—alcohol, tobacco, or even marijuana—serves as the initial “gateway” drug subsequently leading to the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin. The purpose of this investigation was to determine which drug (alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana) was the actual “gateway” drug leading to additional substance use among a nationally representative sample of high school seniors.

Marijuana Gateway Myth

Science & Research

Undated - News - The myth of marijuana's gateway effect

2012 - Study - Alcohol as a gateway drug: A study of U.S.A 12th graders

2012 - Study - Does the "gateway" sequence increase prediction of cannabis use disorder development beyond deviant socialization? Implications for prevention practice and policy.

2011 - Study - Previous exposure to delta9-tetrahydrocannibinol enhances locomotor responding to but not self-administration of amphetamine.

2010 - Study - Evaluating the drug use "gateway" theory using cross-national data: Consistency and associations of the order of initiation of drug use among participants in the WHO (World Mental Health Surveys)

2010 - News - Marijuana as a gateway drug: The myth that will not die

2010 - News - Risk of marijuana's 'Gateway Effect' overblown

2010 - News - Teen pot smoking won't lead to other drugs as adults

2009 - Study - Cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic component of cannabis, inhibits cue-induced heroin seeking and normalizes discrete mesolimbic neuronal disturbances

2009 - Study - Adolescent exposure to chronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol blocks opiate dependence in maternally deprived rats

2009 - News - Claim #13: marijuana as a "gateway" to the use of other drugs 

2009 - News - The surprising effect of marijuana on morphine dependence

2009 - News - Active ingredient in cannabis eliminates morphine dependence in rats

2008 - News - Study of 4000 indicates marijuana discourages use of hard drugs.

2006 - News - Study questions marijuana as gateway drug

2006 - News - No 'smoking' gun: Research indicates teen marijuana use does not predict drug, alcohol abuse

2006 - News - Gateway to nowhere? The evidence that pot doesn't lead to heroin 

2005 - Study - Cannabis use when it's legal

2004 - Study - Endogenous cannabinoids are not involved in cocaine reinforcement

2003 - Letter - Twin study fails to prove 'gateway' hypothesis

2003 - Study - Is cannabis a stepping-stone for cocaine?

2002 - Study - Reassessing the gateway effect

2001 - Study - Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol releases and facilitates the effects of endogenous enkephalins: reduction in morphine withdrawal syndrome without change in rewarding effect.

1998 - FAQ - Does cannabis lead to taking other drugs?

1997 - Study - Cannabis use - A gateway to other drugs? The case of Amsterdam

1996 - Study - Marijuana and the gateway theory

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