Science

The US Government (Partly) Comes Clean

The US Government (Partly) Comes Clean

The U.S. government still utilizes prohibitionist propaganda. In 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) argued that cannabis primes the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs, which it cited as evidence in favor of the gateway theory. By that measure, one might also argue for the prohibition of religion since observational data suggests that sacred texts prime the brain for polygamy, concubines and terrorism. Fortunately, NIDA did admit that the majority of cannabis users do not move on to harder substances, and cross-sensitized brain priming also occurs with alcohol and cigarettes. Noting other factors that also play a role (e.g., biological mechanisms, social environment), NIDA surprisingly offered the alternative theory that people inclined to hard drugs simply start with the substances most readily available. This marks one of the government’s first honest applications of the gateway theory.

 

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