Evidence Does Not Favor Marijuana Gateway Effects Over a Common-Factor Interpretation of Drug Use Initiation

Responses to Anthony, Kenkel, & Mathios and Lynskey

Published in: Addiction, v. 97, no. 12, Commentaries, Dec. 2002, p. 1509-1510

by Andrew R. Morral, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Susan M. Paddock

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Evaluation of prohibition policies should balance the known and possible harms of legal access to marijuana against the known and possible harms associated with marijuana prohibition. The author's study demonstrates that, contrary to the assertions of many advocates and policy makers, marijuana's purported gateway effects are not known harms of marijuana use that can be expected to cause increased hard drug use or abuse if the incidence of marijuana use increased.

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