US Attorney General Admits Cannabis Is Not A Gateway Drug

While speaking at a town hall meeting in Kentucky, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch surprised everyone when she made the statement that prescription opioids, not cannabis are the real gateway drugs. Users of prescription painkillers often turn to heroin once pills no longer work for them. The town hall was an event for what the White House is calling National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. Currently, the United States is going through a massive heroin epidemic. Heroin and prescription opiate use is particularly bad in the state of Kentucky, where Lynch was speaking. After Lynch was finished with her remarks, she allowed audience members to ask questions. Someone brought up cannabis, to which Lynch replied, “When we talk about heroin addiction we usually . . . are talking about individuals who start out with a prescription drug problem.” Lynch then went on to say, “… because they need more and more they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before. It’s not like we’re seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway.” Proponents for cannabis legalization have long argued that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and recent studies have shown that people are turning to cannabis in order to get themselves off of heroin, rather than the other way around. One of the main arguments that opponents of legalization have fallen back on is that cannabis is a gateway drug, therefore it is dangerous and must remain illegal. Now that the head of the Justice Department herself has admitted that this is not the case, that pretty much blows this argument out of the water. How will this revelation affect the course of legalization in the US? It’s hard to say, since the Obama administration has only a few months left in power. The next AG may not feel the same way. Only time will tell. Something has to be done to stop the opioid epidemic though, and in my opinion, cannabis is the key.