Two new studies reinforce the notion that, far from being a gateway drug, marijuana serves to keep people off of other drugs, including opioids and alcohol.
The journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research has published information from University of California, Berkeley/Kent State University that found pain victims are using cannabis instead of pain medication. An abstract of the study reads:
“Cannabis can be an effective treatment for pain, greatly reduces the chance of dependence, and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications. Medical cannabis patients report that cannabis is just as effective, if not more, than opioid-based medications for pain.”
And in a University of New Mexico study of 125 patients in which 83 used cannabis for pain while 42 chose not to use cannabis, 98 percent of the abstainers stayed with the prescription pain medication, while 34 percent of the users dropped their pain medication.
There have long been indications that marijuana serves as an obstacle to hard drug use.
The addictive qualities of marijuana are far less than hard drugs. They are described by some drug experts as akin to coffee.