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Another Marijuana Myth Bites the Dust--The Real Gateway Drug is Alcohol

A study finds that the “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate, but shifts the blame away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug: alcohol.

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That social misconception, largely driven by the sheer popularity of alcohol and the profits it generates for private industry, is diametrically opposed to the most current science available on drug harms.  A study published in 2010 in the medical journal Lancet ranked alcohol as the most harmful drug of all, above heroin, crack, meth, cocaine and tobacco. Even more striking: The Lancet study found that harms to others near the user were more than double those of the second most harmful drug, heroin.

“This is a time of budget tightening,” Barry concluded. “Many social services are being cut. If you take [our findings] and apply them to a school health setting, we believe that you are going to get the best bang for your buck by focusing on alcohol.”

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

 
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