With the grace of God, I’ve been clean and sober for over 18 years — a recovery experience that still has me going to a lot of 12-step meetings. And I hear time and again from young people coming into the rooms to get sober how pot smoking led to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Now, this is anecdotal, and I am not an expert. And I will say that many people can control alcohol or pot or other drugs. But I am not one of them. And I am not alone.
Talk to virtually any professional drug counselor, and they will warn that pot is a gateway drug. Or listen to left-of-center columnist Ruth Marcus, who has gathered important professional evidence about the risks of pot.
Ms. Marcus reminds us that the American Medical Association recommended against legalization, stating, “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” The AMA added that pot “is the most common illicit drug involved in drugged driving, particularly in drivers under the age of 21. Early cannabis use is related to later substance-use disorders.”
The AMA also noted that “Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic-thought disorders.”