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33
55
Yes No
Debate Score:88
Arguments:33
Total Votes:119
Ended:05/17/08
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 Yes (13)
 
 No (20)

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Is Marijuana really a gateway drug?

marijuana weed gateway drugs

Yes

Side Score: 33
VS.

No

Side Score: 55
Winning Side!
5 points

Can Marijuana be a gateway to harsher drugs? Yes. But you can easily make the same argument of alcohol. The reality is that Marijuana isn't as harmful, nor is as harmless and people on either side of the spectrum would like to believe.

Addictions have a lot to do with a person's personality, some can easily tailspin from pot to ecstasy to speed, other just keep smoking pot and that's all.

Side: Yes
0 points

I've been waiting for the marijuana propaganda to show up here... surprised it took so long.

In my opinion, I think any mind altering drug (Tobacco, Alcohol, etc.) could be considered to be a "gateway". As soon as one discovers that the world /could/ seem different via the utilization of something without them, or should I say, a substance, the gates fly open. Then it's just a matter of how easy it is to get ahold of it, whether or not law allows it, companies allow it, how hard it is to hide that you've done it/use it, what effects you get directly, and the long term effects.

Sadly though, one thing about drugs, especially tobacco is that it alters the way you judge the risks involved... Alcohol isn't as "addictive" but then again, it depends on what type of person you are.

Marijuana though, is something that I don't think should be legalized, if that's where this argument is going. Unlike Tobacco, marijuana creates a heavy sociological burden. It's easier than drinking, quicker than drinking, but is more potent than having a cigarette, and, it's a weed. It's cheap to buy, cheap to grow, you need little in the way of tools to produce your own, and it's easy to feel the effects.

It's a drug that should remain illegal until machines take over... and then you might need it.

Side: Yes
charlesviper(72) Disputed
2 points

I've never tried marijuana, and it's not like I'm "waiting" to try it. I simply don't feel the need. On that note, though, I've never smoked or drank to "get drunk".

Marijuana alters moods. So does beer. So does wine. So does tobacco. Considering alcohol impairs your ability to drive, gives hang overs, etc [one of my friends passed out and had to get her stomach pumped just last Thursday, she only had US$49.99 of alcohol in her]. In comparison, no amount of marijuana could kill you -- and you'd need to smoke a very large amount to deprive your lungs from oxygen. Not nearly as dangerous as smoking or drinking.

What makes marijuana so awful that it should be illegal? I think that the problems with marijuana would disappear when marijuana cultivation and consumption becomes legalized. America could still keep foreign drugs illegal, especially those associated with corrupt "drug barons" from Central America.

You also mention that "unlike Tobacco, marijuana creates a heavy sociological burden". I'm not sure why you believe this -- and what your source is that it's "easier / quicker than drinking" and "more potent that a cigarette". Considering all the technology that goes into cigarettes, like filters and slow-burn paper, it's surprising that the toxicity of a self-rolled marijuana joint is roughly equal to that of a filtered, designed, mass produced cigarette.

I think it was said best by Drew Carey -- if you don't like the idea that millions of people around the world enjoy marijuana, you go to your local gas station, your local 7-11 or corner store, and buy a six pack of beer.

Just don't try to drive home.

Side: No
0 points

Marijuana is a gateway drug. Not only is it very easy to obtain, but being in a public high school, I for one hear all the time that it's not bad for you, that it won't hurt you, its cheap, and why not do it, everybody does...etc. So it's easy to get and tempting to do (if you don't know the truth about it), and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found teens who smoke pot to be 85x more likely to smoke cocaine than teens who didn't.

Supporting Evidence: Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (www.casacolumbia.org)
Side: Yes
-1 points

In the words of Yoda, "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate... leads to suffering." In other words, one thing leads to another, one of the truest statements to come out of Star Wars.

While I have little doubt that some people can take marijuana in moderation and not be overcome by addiction, many people cannot. Therefore, when you answer this question, you have to bear in mind that although it has not been a gateway drug for you it can very easily be for another.

Additionally, this kind of question will undoubtedly lead to, "Let's legalize marijuana!" In this sense, marijuana is most certainly a gateway drug. When you start to push back the boundary of right and wrong, then it only becomes that much easier for many to go where only a few dare venture now. Marijuana becomes legal, heroin, LSD, cocaine, etc. becomes more accessible and more acceptable.

Side: Yes
-2 points

I think when people answer this question they will try and see what the speaker is implying. Usually when this topic is brought up, it has to do with why marijuana is illegal. So, one who was in favor of the legalization of marijuana might want to disagree. However, marijuana does have the potential to be a gateway drug. The real issue is whether or not we should regulate it because it is so.

In my opinion, people that will put themselves at risk by using some of the harder drugs might also be inclined to take other potential risks in their lives. So do we try to educate or regulate?

Side: Yes
RevFred(349) Disputed
3 points

I don't think there is any evidence of marijuana being a gateway drug. Just because people started with pot, doesn't mean pot made them try the harder stuff. Just the fact that they tried pot alone goes to show you they are the kind of person that takes risks and needs to detach. To what extent they are willing to do this equates to how far they are willing to go with their drug habit. I've seen people on all points of the spectrum, and their personalities speak volumes.

Side: No
6 points

I smoke pot. I always smoke about the same amount, and never do any other drugs. I'm perfectly content.

Furthermore, the people that would go on to try other drugs probably would have done it anyways.

Side: No
3 points

Same here. I like smoking pot sometimes just like I like to have a glass one wine on occasion. It makes me feel high and I dig it but it doesn't make me want to do any other drug. Its not like I need to keep getter a more and more intense high or something.

I think Ben Harper puts it best:

Burn One Down
Side: No
3 points

Sorry, one more video because Peter Tosh also puts it very, very well:

Legalise It
Side: Yes
StolenFED(80) Disputed
2 points

I smoke too and am like you. Not everyone transfers over of course.

Side: Yes
RevFred(349) Disputed
2 points

This sounds like an agreement. Yet, it's set to opposed. I think this is because you think it is a gateway drug still, even though it it's not true for everyone. I'm also curious as to why you would say that you need more and more pot to get high and move on to other things, when both you nor I do/need that. It obviously depends on the person and how much they want to explore the realm of mind altering drugs. I don't see how pot can be blamed at all.

Side: No
3 points

OK, so, if ten out of twenty kids, that all drank soda when they were younger, started smoking pot, would you think soda is a gateway drug? If not please tell me the difference.

(yes, caffeine is a drug)

Side: No
3 points

The whole concept of a "gateway" drug, is nothing but a logic fallacy.

It's argument goes something like this "Because many people who use hard drugs, started with pot, that somehow pot caused them to move to those harder drugs."

If you analyze that, you might see that it's a backwards causation fallacy. And a better question to ask, at that point, is: "Do all Marijuana users, move onto hard drugs?" And the answer is no, most of them do not. In fact, only a small percent of Marijuana users ever try harder drugs. So should this small percent be used as an argument against Cannabis? I really don't think so, especially when this whole issue concerns our private freedoms and rights over our own bodies.

If any gateway IS being created here, it's because of the prohibition on the drug, not the drug itself. While Marijuana is illegal, drug dealers sell it, dealers who may also be selling other harder drugs. This is not only a problem in itself, but also remember that now, the simple pot user is being forced to buy his lower harm drug of choice, from a criminal who might have worse drugs. So now the pot user is being exposed to those harder drugs!

If Marijuana was legal, this wouldn't be a problem at all. Legalization would remove the black market dealers from the equation, and only legitimate businesses, selling only Marijuana, or maybe alcohol as well... But CERTAINLY not hard drugs. Thus the Marijuana user would have far less exposure to the hard drugs.

I think I've made my case.

Side: No

No. Marijuana is sometimes called a gateway drug because when people take it, they're expecting something more, so they move on to harder drugs. If you removed pot they would just go straight to the harder drugs.

Side: No

I disagree with your point, but I'm on your side of the argument. I think it's more that marijuana is "safe", but since it's labeled as an illegal, dangerous substance, people who are willing to break the law to use an illegal substance are more likely to try other illegal drugs and substances. If you were to legalize marijuana, and make it available with prescription or over the counter, the same number of people would be abusing illegal substances, but the number of marijuana users would drastically increase. There's always a subset of the population willing to risk jail or fines to get high, and it's simply that marijuana is one of the most available ways -- and once you try one illegal drug, it's not like you have an incentive not to experiment.

If someone tries marijuana and likes it, but their whole life it's been lumped in with seriously dangerous drugs like heroin or ecstasy, the logical assumption is that the dangers of heroin and ecstasy were also trumped up.

Side: No

My central point is that people who use Pot as a gateway drug were already in the frame of mind to use harder drugs in the first place, not just smoke a demotivating plant.

Side: No
2 points

A person's particular inclination or motivation for doing drugs is the gateway. Some people who smoke weed simply want to get high and will seek substances that will increase the length or potency of that high-state.

Side: No
2 points

I don't think so. I think weed is really only considered a gateway drug because it is the least "powerful" of the common illegal drugs, so if you were to remove weed from the equation, the next lowest drug would be considered the gateway drug.

So, I don't think weed is what causes people to move on to more stronger drugs, but the person's use of the drug is. Obviously, a person that smokes weed occasionally and makes it just a once in a while ordeal will get a lot more from it than a person that smokes it as much as they can. The chain smoker's body will grow a tolerance to the THC in weed, so they need either more weed or a stronger drug to achieve the same high.

Side: No