Five myths about marijuana – Anchorage Daily NewsPosted by On


Christopher Ingraham was a reporter on The Post’s business desk from 2014 to 2021. He currently writes the Why Axis, a newsletter about the data shaping and informing our lives.

It’s been seven years since the country’s first legal recreational marijuana shops opened in Colorado and Washington state. What was once a bold social experiment is now commonplace, with 18 states plus D.C. — representing well over one-third of the U.S. population – permitting recreational use. Nevertheless, myths about marijuana use and legalization remain widespread. Some are stubborn artifacts of the long-standing war on drugs, while others reflect the influence of a growing industry looking to attract new customers. Here are a few of the most persistent ones.

Marijuana is a gateway drug.

“Do most people who use other drugs start with marijuana? Most definitely,” reads a fact sheet on the website of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a prominent anti-pot organization. “Research demonstrates that 99% of those addicted to other drugs started with alcohol and marijuana,” the group claims. Pot-squeamish politicians – including New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, President Joe Biden and Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., – have cited this “gateway theory” as a reason to keep restrictions in place.

In reality, no credible evidence shows that pot makes people more inclined to use other drugs. That, at least, was the conclusion of an exhaustive 96-page inquiry by the…

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Christopher Ingraham was a reporter on The Post’s business desk from 2014 to 2021. He currently writes the Why Axis, a newsletter about the data shaping and informing our lives.

It’s been seven years since the country’s first legal recreational marijuana shops opened in Colorado and Washington state. What was once a bold social experiment is now commonplace, with 18 states plus D.C. — representing well over one-third of the U.S. population – permitting recreational use. Nevertheless, myths about marijuana use and legalization remain widespread. Some are stubborn artifacts of the long-standing war on drugs, while others reflect the influence of a growing industry looking to attract new customers. Here are a few of the most persistent ones.

Marijuana is a gateway drug.

“Do most people who use other drugs start with marijuana? Most definitely,” reads a fact sheet on the website of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a prominent anti-pot organization. “Research demonstrates that 99% of those addicted to other drugs started with alcohol and marijuana,” the group claims. Pot-squeamish politicians – including New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, President Joe Biden and Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., – have cited this “gateway theory” as a reason to keep restrictions in place.

In reality, no credible evidence shows that pot makes people more inclined to use other drugs. That, at least, was the conclusion of an exhaustive 96-page inquiry by the…



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