'Gateway Effect' of Marijuana Exaggerated

by Savitha C Muppala on  September 3, 2010 at 4:38 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
New research has found that the "gateway effect" of marijuana - that teenagers who use marijuana carry a greater risk of moving on to stronger illicit drugs as young adults - is exaggerated.
 'Gateway Effect' of Marijuana Exaggerated
'Gateway Effect' of Marijuana Exaggerated

Their use of harder drugs depends on factors such as employment status and stress, according to the new research.

In fact, the strongest predictor of whether someone will use other illicit drugs is their race/ethnicity, not whether they ever used marijuana.

"In light of these findings, we urge U.S. drug control policymakers to consider stress and life-course approaches in their pursuit of solutions to the 'drug problem,'" said University of New Hampshire professors Karen Van Gundy and Cesar Rebellon.

"Employment in young adulthood can protect people by 'closing' the marijuana gateway, so over-criminalizing youth marijuana use might create more serious problems if it interferes with later employment opportunities," said Van Gundy.

"We find that respondents 'age out' of marijuana's gateway effect regardless of early teen stress exposure or education, work, or family statuses," said the researchers.

The researchers found that the strongest predictor of other illicit drug use appears to be race-ethnicity, not prior use of marijuana.

Non-Hispanic whites show the greatest odds of other illicit substance use, followed by Hispanics, and then by African Americans.

The research appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.

Source: ANI

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like