“When you decriminalize something, the message that you’re basically sending people is it must not be that bad. Now, suddenly, you’re an 18- or 17-year-old, [and you] say, ‘Well, I know marijuana, you tell me not to smoke it, but you know what? It can’t be that bad, because the federal government made it legal.’ And so all of a sudden now, you’re going to have a problem in this country, because that becomes a gateway. We know that marijuana use is often the first thing that people use before they move on to something else. We’ve also seen, by the way, marijuana being purchased off the streets that’s laced with fentanyl and other drugs, and it’s killing people.”
That’s Marco Rubio talking to a local TV Station when asked about legal marijuana. It’s unfortunate that all of Rubio’s points are pure speculation.
For one, there is no concrete evidence that legal marijuana works as a gateway drug. There have been studies done with medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, with examples here, here, here, and here. Nothing ever comes out in favor of the gateway theory.
Secondly, the fentanyl-laced marijuana story has proven to also be very muddled. A pattern has emerged where a local police station puts out a report saying there may be fentanyl laced in illicit weed in the area, then soon after retracting the statement when marijuana has been tested. The occurrence may have happened at some point, but to imply that it’s common in any way is entirely false. Instead, it works as fast-emitting fuel for fear mongering.
Rubio’s claims are easily debunkable. However, that won’t stop the more old school politicians from believing them, as to change their minds would mean a big pivot in the way they see the world.
Read the original story at Reason.