Evaluate the Evidence for and Against the Legalization of Marijuana. Where Do You Stand in the Drug Debate?

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Mandalena G. Juarbe 04/16/12 Body Rhythms and Mental State AC1111280 Lesson8

Drug that leads to abuse of more harmful illicit drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. There are strikingly regular patterns in the progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug that most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs used marijuana; we could go back in 1940 – from now? In fact, most drug users do not begin their drug use with marijuana—they begin with alcohol and nicotine, usually when they are too young to do so legally. The gateway analogy evokes two ideas that are often confused. The first, more often referred to as the ''stepping stone'' hypothesis, is the idea that progression from marijuana to other drugs arises from pharmacological properties of marijuana itself.82 The second is that marijuana serves as a gateway to the world of illegal drugs in which youths have greater opportunity and are under greater social pressure to try other illegal drugs. The latter interpretation is most often used in the scientific literature, and it is supported, although not proven, by the available data. The stepping stone hypothesis applies to marijuana only in the broadest sense. People who enjoy the effects of marijuana are, logically, more likely to be willing to try other mood-altering drugs than are people who are not willing to try marijuana or who dislike its effects. In other words, many of the factors associated with a willingness to use marijuana are, presumably, the same as those associated with a willingness to use other illicit drugs. Those factors include physiological reactions...
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