Putting Cannabis's Gateway Theory to the Test
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.
Peer Reviewed Articles on Cannabis's Gateway Theory
2015 - USA: Abstract ~ Ready for Retirement: The Gateway Drug Hypothesis.
Substance Use & Misuse
2012 - USA: Study ~ Alcohol as a gateway drug: A study of U.S.A 12th graders.
Journal of School Health
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Experiments
2010 - Australia/ Austria/ Belgium/ Colombia/ France/ Italy/ Japan/ Netherlands/ Nigeria/ Ukraine/ United States: 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)
2003 - Australia/ Netherlands: Abstarct ~ Is cannabis a stepping-stone for cocaine?
Journal of Health Economics
2002 - USA: Study ~ Reassessing the gateway effect
American Journal of Public Health
European Journal of Neuroscience
British Journal of Pharmacology