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Marijuana and the Use of Other Drugs


IT is well established that the use of marijuana by young people is positively correlated with at least the experimental use of other drugs1. The probability that an individual uses the strong hallucinogens such as LSD and other drugs rises sharply with increasing frequency of marijuana use2. Such associations are not, of course, sufficient to establish causal relationships between the use of one drug and another. It seems quite likely that important sociological factors contribute to the progression from marijuana to more hazardous drugs. Goode has found that frequent marijuana users tend to limit their social life to persons in the illicit drug subculture and thus frequently have the opportunity of trying other drugs2. Chronic marijuana intoxication may also contribute to the generally poor reality orientation manifested by many adolescent drug users. This, in turn, can lead to poor judgment concerning the use of the more dangerous drugs. On the other hand, it has been found that older users of marijuana, introduced to the drug about 20 years ago, contain a much higher than average proportion of heavy alcohol users, which suggests that personality and other pre-existing variables are also related to the use of multiple intoxicants3.

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MCGLOTHLIN, W., JAMISON, K. & ROSENBLATT, S. Marijuana and the Use of Other Drugs. Nature 228, 1227–1229 (1970).

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