Regarding: The gateway theory, Feb. 22.
The problem with Ted Dever’s prohibitionist rhetoric (beyond the obvious, that marijuana induces biochemical changes in the brain — it’s why people use marijuana) is that the ‘gateway theory’ is conjecture.
DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young said in 1988 that, ‘In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume . . . Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.
The ‘gateway theory’ which says all marijuana users go on to hard drugs has been debunked over and over again. It is nothing more than an attempt to make people fear marijuana. The only reason any association between marijuana and cocaine exists is because of drug prohibition.
What is more perplexing is the propensity of various (U.S.) governmental agencies to be involved in drug trafficking. In April of 1989, the Kerry Committee report, an investigation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding charges of Contra involvement in cocaine and marijuana trafficking found that:
The report cited legal cover provided by the CIA to anti-Sandinista rebels in the drug trade as well as accounting for $806,000 paid by the State Department to “four companies owned and operated by narcotics traffickers.” The Subcommittee found that Contra drug links included:
Involvement in narcotics trafficking by individuals associated with the Contra movement.
Participation of narcotics traffickers in Contra supply operations through business relationships with Contra organizations.
Provision of assistance to the Contras by narcotics traffickers, including cash, weapons, planes, pilots, air supply services and other materials, on a voluntary basis by traffickers.
Payments to drug traffickers by U.S. State Department.Funds authorized by Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.
Drug warriors clearly have more than altruistic reasons for retaining drug prohibition.