If you haven't gathered yet, marijuana is my absolute favorite subject to write about. Let's discuss the misconception that marijuana is a gateway drug.
Before we do anything else, let's define what it means for a substance to be classified as a "gateway drug". Merriam-Webster defines a gateway drug as : "a drug (as alcohol or marijuana) whose use is thought to lead to the use of and dependence on a harder drug (as cocaine or heroin)". Keeping this definition in mind, I have not once, or ever, had the urge to do cocaine or heroin while smoking marijuana. I protest the thought of classifying marijuana as a gateway drug because it is not the drug itself that leads to use of other substances.
My belief is that the only reason that anyone would want to use a harder drug after using marijuana is because of availability or the fact that this person wanted to try said harder drug in the first place. It has nothing to do with marijuana itself. The simple explanation is that because of marijuana prohibition, we see a mixing of the "hard drug market" and the "soft drug market". This makes hard drugs available to people who normally are just trying to score a sack of weed. This, in my opinion, means that marijuana is not the "gateway" but prohibition itself is to blame. But of course, this will not be an accepted mainstream idea.
The government and media have worked so hard to defame marijuana that a lot of the myths surrounding this "drug" prevail in mainstream thought. No matter how much I try to explain and defend this miracle plant we call weed, there will always people that have let the government and media brainwash them into believing that weed is bad for you, that you will become addicted (impossible by the way), and it will lead to the use of cocaine and heroin.