|Posted on October 20, 2014 at 7:25 PM|
October 20, 2014 at 7:47am
Here is how I explain the "Gateway Drug" issue with Cannabis legalization opponents.
Is it a Gateway Drug? In the U.S. it is, but not in places where it's legal. Why?
When I was in my early teens I lived in Germany. Like most kids, I played video games. In the U.S. video games were a kid's thing. We had huge arcades, Showbiz Pizza (later Chuck E Cheez), roller rinks and a host of other fun safe places to play. Not so in Germany.
In Germany in the early 1980s the only places you found video games (aside from American military posts) were bars, whore houses, peep shows and the like. They had no arcades or Showbiz Pizza.
So guess where I was hanging out on the weekends? Not at the library, I can tell you that. Liking video games put me in the Red Light District on a regular basis and this put me into contact with pimps, hookers, junkies, gangs and houses of ill repute. My favorite game was now a video version of Strip Poker and I used to see if I could get the girl naked before the owners of the place figured out I wasn't 18 and threw me out. I got pretty good at it!
Had there been arcades and whatnot, I never would have seen the inside of those places.
This is Marijuana in the U.S. In places where it's legal, you can go to a cafe' or a store and go somewhere safe to indulge in a drug that is itself far less lethal than alcohol. Where it is not, you get to hang around the guys who are selling crack, meth and heroin.
So is it a gateway drug? No. We have a "Gateway System".