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The first thought that comes to anyone’s mind after hearing the word “cannabis” is the stigma that has surrounded it before many states and countries began to legalize the drug, but are any of the stigmas actually true? 

For years people have believed many myths regarding cannabis that researchers are continuously debunking. It all has come down to if cannabis is a gateway drug or not. There is a need for more research; however, new studies might shake the belief of those that do believe that cannabis is a gateway drug.

The legalization of cannabis has shown that the plant is not harmful, like people debated about for years. Even though many Las Vegas Strip dispensaries are selling cannabis, there is no evidence to suggest that consumers of cannabis also consume other, more harmful drugs.  

Many believed that cannabis use led to the use of hard drugs on a falsified notion. Though there are minimal recreational cannabis legalization (RML) policies on teens’ substance use,1 one promising study has been conducted. This research took place over two decades on around one million high school students,  and revealed some telling results regarding whether or not the gateway effect actually exists. 

The gateway effect was the number one reason why cannabis legalization remained unresolved for a long time. After the study was conducted on the topic, it was concluded that this was just another myth! 

The study involving adolescents, emerging adults, and late-emerging adults suggested no visible increase in cannabis use after its legalization.2  The study collected the data of the people living in Colorado and Washington. 

Cannabis’ medical benefits could potentially be many, which is the first reason why cannabis medical doctors are prescribing it to adults. The best Vegas dispensary will offer both recreational and medical cannabis products for patients. Some may think that having cannabis readily available might spike cannabis use among adults, but here’s what policy experts Mark Kleiman, Jon Caulkins, and Beau Kilmer have to say in their book Cannabis Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know3, “cannabis legalization might have the anti-gateway effect.”

Cannabis & the Anti-Gateway Effect 

Medical cannabis may be used as a relief for chronic pain.4  The number of patients who visit hospitals every year to treat their chronic pain is rapidly increasing. Instead of using opioids to treat their pain, adults may be able to switch to cannabis to help manage their pain. Medical cannabis has the potential to work as an alternative option to treat chronic pain among patients. 

There is a high number of opioid deaths5 in America due to over-prescribed medication and the addiction it causes. Per the data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the deaths by opioid consumption (both prescription and non-prescription) rose to 21,088 in 2010. The numbers further increased by 47,600 deaths in 2017, 46,802 deaths in 2018, and approximately 49,802 deaths in 20195

It’s hard for people to stop an opioid addiction. Those afflicted are finding alternative opioids when they are unable to get them from a doctor by using fentanyl or heroin. However, studies have suggested that the use of medical cannabis might help people from developing an addiction to harder drugs.6 Even the Center for Disease Control suggests that the use of cannabis does not lead people to develop an addiction to hard drugs.7

The studies continuously undermine the long-standing notion that cannabis is a gateway drug. Another study published in December 2020 in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggested that legalizing cannabis does not increase its use in teenagers.1 

There is a lack of hard evidence to conclude that cannabis is a hard drug and the studies published in the last year further strengthen the grounds of cannabis legalization. Cannabis use has the tendency to help people stop opioid abuse that may result in overdose or even death. 

By switching to medical cannabis, opioid use can be reduced to a minimum to decrease the number of people who become addicted. Although research continues to suggest that cannabis is not a gateway drug, there’s still a long way to go until that is proven. Currently, the data is enough to shed a positive light on cannabis and lend support for its legalization in more areas. 

What’s the Take? 

New cannabis research is constantly debunking many of the myths that people have believed for a long time. Correcting the myth that cannabis is a “gateway drug” needed to happen quickly since the claim has never been backed by hard-evidence. And studies have shown that even if subjects tried cannabis, there is no proof that they are likely to try other drugs. 

The latest evidence on the use of cannabis shows that it can have an anti-gateway effect on the person. Although there is a need for more research, it’s a significant finding and may lead to further study in this direction. 

Las Vegas is a place where you can find the largest cannabis dispensary, Planet 13. If you’re searching for the best dispensary near the Las Vegas strip, then check Planet 13 Las Vegas. It’s the best Las Vegas dispensary and the world’s only cannabis superstore and entertainment complex with expert staff to help make your choice easy! Whether you’re looking for delivery, pick-up, or in-store options you can find it all at Planet 13 Las Vegas.