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Pot politics

Study: (Medical) marijuana is not a gateway drug

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Perhaps the leading argument against medical marijuana — other than to say it is pointless given the marvels of modern medicine — is the concern that it will lead to rampant drug use. Yet a new study published this month in the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests the fear may be overblown.

By comparing the results from a federal drug use survey to states that do or do not allow medical marijuana, the study found that such laws "had no discernible impact on hard drug use" on any age group, either adolescents or adults. And though the study did find an uptick in marijuana use overall in states with medical marijuana laws, that increase was seen mainly in people over 21 years old.

The study comes on the heels of another similar one last month that also found medical marijuana laws were not leading to higher rates of marijuana use.