I wrote a post recently, about claims & allegations about the so-called ‘Gateway theory’ (still being pushed by at least one NZ Govt. minister).. that cannabis use supposedly leads users onto ‘hard drugs’ (cocaine & opiates etc.). This ‘theory’ has been widely opposed & even refuted. The other view being, that it is actually the black-market dealers providing access to other drugs, that MAY lead some cannabis users to ‘progress’ to these other, more addictive drugs.
I have been reading a document, with information on the historical facts, surrounding the events that led to the current prohibitions. Interestingly it mentions that whilst this ‘gateway’ was discussed.. in the early part of the 20th century, it was also claimed that the gateway went both ways : (many claiming cannabis, is as harmful & addictive as opiates etc.)
1) cannabis users sometimes went on to use opiates
2) opiate & coca users, who could not get their ‘drug of choice’.. used cannabis as an alternative.
In these early days of ‘drug control’, there were several countries who questioned why cannabis was even included in these international conventions. Britain, India & some in Europe did not accept many of the supposed ‘facts’ pushed by USA & some middle-eastern countries (saying it is ‘un-Islamic’), that they saw as bordering on hysteria & extremely over-stated negative issues; around claims of insanity etc. which is still stuck in the psyche of many (even today), especially in the older generations.