Nogueria, Felipe. “Where Drug Myths Die: An Interview with Carl Hart.” ebscohost.com. EBSOHOST. Skeptic. 2015. Web. 18 July 2015.
Within this article Author Felipe Nogueira provides an Interview between himself and Carl Hart, an Associate Professor in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. As a research scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Hart argues his reasoning when asked about marijuana, which is perceived by many as a gateway drug.
Nogueria deems Dr. Hart as the myth buster of drugs due to his highly credited background before asking for response to the first posed question upon skeptics, which is “Many people believe marijuana is a gateway drug. Is it?” Dr. Hart simply states that marijuana is not a gateway drug although he adds that “it is true that people who use heroin and cocaine used marijuana before these drugs.” He explains this reasoning by suggesting to look at the facts. The vast majority of marijuana users don’t continue to move to those harder drugs, therefore it is not a gateway drug as he puts it. Adding an example to this illogical sort of stamen, Dr. Hart says “It would be like saying that “the last three presidents of the United States used marijuana before they became president. Therefore, Marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House”.” Ultimately debunking, in a joking matter, the theory generally speaking.
When asked about addiction, which holds a relation to the gateway theory, Dr. Hart provides the definition of drug addiction: “Is behavior that disrupts your psychosocial functions, your job, your family life, and these behavioral disruptions have to occur on multiple occasions.” Arguing that addiction requires “work”. In order to become addicted such behavioral disruptions must happen on multiple occasions. Anything taken once does not cause anyone to become addicted. Thus, by definition it is not addiction.
Answering more questions relating to other drug abuse usage Hart is asked about how many believe marijuana or cocaine kills nerve cells. Dr. Hart responds that any drug taken in large doses could have the ability do kill brain cells. He continues stating that such doses are 20-80 times larger than what people usually take. Also, Dr. Hart argues that the rate of addiction of marijuana is very low at 10% at I in 3 people compared to the 33% of people who will become addicted to tobacco and 15% to alcohol.
This interview has given valuable and credible insight on the question of marijuana being a gateway drug. Having a source as such provides a better understanding of where I personally stand on the issue and further enhances my viewpoint. Dr. Hart clearly states his own opinion based on the science of it all, which is more reliable and closer to the truth. Overall, this interview should ultimately clear perhaps not all but some myths surrounding marijuana and its use as a gateway drug.