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Survey Finds Marijuana not a Gateway for Teen Drug use

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Researchers find that that pot smoking among teens is not a gateway that leads to harder drug use. Instead, policy makers should focus on other factors found in a survey that influence teen drug use, that include race, ethnicity, stress and unemployment

The biggest predictor of illicit drug use among teens was found to be race and ethnicity, according to research from University of New Hampshire. Pot smoking and use of illicit drugs among teens fades with lower stress levels, found from a survey of 1,286 young adults.

Gateway to Harder Drugs from Marijuana Short-Lived

By age 21, the risk of marijuana's gateway effect to harder drugs subsides. The researchers say, “While marijuana use may serve as a gateway to other illicit drug use in adolescence, our results indicate that the effect may be short-lived, subsiding by age 21.

Interestingly, age emerges as a protective status above and beyond the other life statuses and conditions considered here. We find that respondents ‘age out’ o…