Medical Marijuana

Cannabis: A Gateway to Rehab by Doctor Frank


Dr Frank D’Ambrosio is one of the US’ leading voices for medicinal cannabis policy reform, and a proponent of High Sobriety.  In his latest work, he explores the use of medical cannabis in addiction rehabilitation and the importance of medical marijuana in the treatment space.

As those of you who are familiar with our philosophy at Doctor Frank know, we want people to question the reason that marijuana is a Schedule I drug “with no medical value” – an idea that’s pretty ridiculous, scientifically speaking. Now, we have explored some of these themes in a past blog post, entitled “Marijuana: Drug, Medicine or Both?”, but we want to explore this topic again, but looking more specifically at drug addiction, as well as some of the logic behind the theory of cannabis as an exit drug …

“Wait a second … I was told people start off with cannabis, then move onto stronger stuff”

This is the classic “gateway theory” argument: that people start off with using cannabis, and then move onto other drugs, like cocaine, amphetamines and opioids. The idea that cannabis is potentially a way out rather than a way in is the very opposite of what most people have been taught.

As we like to be as charitable as possible to opposing arguments, there are some well-meaning reasons some people might think of cannabis as a “gateway drug”. They include:

• The possibility of having a cannabis dealer “push” other drugs onto you, i.e. start a person off on cannabis, then try to introduce other substances to them.
• The “I’ve seen lots of people go from cannabis to harder drugs in the space of several years, even if they stop using cannabis after a while” or the “trying cannabis got them curious about using other drugs” story.
• The “I’ve seen people form negative habits after starting cannabis use, even if they don’t use other substances” story.


As tempting as it is to palm all of these off as “anecdotal evidence”, it is worth mentioning that there are a few factors that give such arguments some weight. First of all, cannabis is illegal in many states, and this may well put some impressionable people in contact with less than favorable company. Some people may well try cannabis and think “the government’s been lying to me about this, so what other substances have they lied about?” There may well be people out there for whom cannabis is a negative.


Check out the complete article on Doctor Frank’s website here