US Attorney General Finally Admits Marijuana Isn’t a Gateway Drug — Prescription Pills Are

attorney-generalBy Alice Salles

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a U.S. federal research institute focused on “[advancing] science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction … to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health. ” Though it admits “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances,” it still describes marijuana as a gateway drug.

But U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently told a group of Kentucky high school students the role of marijuana in the national drug abuse debate has been overstated.

While discussing heroin abuse and how individuals often develop an addiction, Lynch argued:

[I]ndividuals [start out] with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids —  it is true that if you tend to experiment with a lot of things in life, you may be inclined to experiment with drugs, as well. But it’s not like we’re seeing that marijuana as a specific gateway.

Attorney General Lynch added that instead of trafficking rings, what “introduce[s] a person to opioids … [is] the household medicine cabinet.”

The event she attended was part of the Prescription Opioid Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, a campaign designed by the White House that includes “250 different events highlighting the importance of prevention, enforcement, and treatment.” As expected, the campaign focused on advertising the official approach to drug abuse, encouraging the public to support the Obama administration’s approach to the opioid crisis.

Measures embraced by the administration include “expanding evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, increasing access to the overdose-reversal medicine naloxone, and supporting targeted enforcement activities.” But nowhere in the official campaign page is there a list of practical solutions to the opioid crisis, an admission of guilt, or a concession stating that, despite marijuana’s official federal classification, cannabis is not seen as the root of the problem by the very head of the United States Department of Justice.

In early August, the Obama administration said no to a bid urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reconsider how marijuana is classified under federal drug control laws. Currently, the DEA lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, the pivot drug of the opioid epidemic. But as the Attorney General’s comments demonstrate, the federal government fails to take its own classification methodology seriously, choosing instead to contend that prescription drug abuse is a much bigger issue. Per its federal classification, marijuana should be seen as a threat as dangerous as heroin, and yet Lynch appears to contend the abuse of legal drugs is keeping federal agents busy — not the enforcement of her agency’s own rules.

What Lynch is failing to discuss on the federal government’s anti-opioid abuse campaign trail is the racist, opportunistic roots of the failed and decades-long drug war in America. But as American states begin to shift their approach to some of the targets of this nationwide anti-drug campaign, legalized marijuana is able to accomplish what many drug war apologists claimed criminalization would achieve: bringing down the drug cartels.

But as the Washington Post report demonstrates, legalizing pot is not enough.

While powerful drug cartels have seen legalized marijuana taking a chunk out of their profits, the criminalization of other drugs such as heroin continues to put addicts in harm’s way.

With drug cartels seeing an increase in demand due to the pressure mounting from the growth of the relationship between the government and the pharmaceutical industry, dangerous alternatives to heroin, such as fentanyl, are sold on the street as regular heroin.

Without legal means to produce the drugs the market demands, these cartels are not concerned with the quality of their product nor the health of their consumer. When looking at the destruction stemming from the illegal drug trafficking industry, we are able to trace it back to the criminalization of drug commerce and use — and yet government officials prefer to live in the dark ages, upping their involvement with the war on yet another drug epidemic entirely manufactured by crony kingpins.

This article (US Attorney General Finally Admits Weed Isn’t a Gateway Drug — Prescription Pills Are) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alice Salles and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to

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11 Comments on "US Attorney General Finally Admits Marijuana Isn’t a Gateway Drug — Prescription Pills Are"

  1. Well …Knock me over with a feather!

    • Yes, …….witless, vacant “government” bureaucrats suddenly animated to thaw the enforced cannabis paranoia….!? Where does this alternate directive originate?
      Organic growth or synthesized enterprise?

      • The Gov. has patents pending on marijuana…same as the pHARMaceutical giants….Cannabis t ‘IS’ the wonder cure panacea for the healing of all mankind …& these slimy reptiles seek to Kontrol it as usual…too bad for them that it’s still a weed…& grows like a weed hahahahaha!

  2. Lynch should be fired for her role in the ‘above the rule of law HillBillary server selling state secrets’ incident.
    Move to Colorado and imbibe whilst watching gorgeous sunsets.

  3. But Hillary’s extremely ugly daughter just finished telling kids that people are “dying” all over from pot!

    • I feel sorry for Chelsea, She gets both her looks and her political insight straight from her parents and I feel even sorrier for her children

    • She could afford some professional grooming tips. Google her images though, and what you will see are her with well done hair and makeup, where she is actually attractive. But many of the photos we see in the media are of her looking just atrocious and it seems willfully unkempt. I don’t understand it, condsidering her privilege and wealth. Why she doesent make an effort.
      Make up correctly or skill fully applied is absolutely amazing.
      Hillary is a good example. Many of the pics of her as sec of state show an unvanished ugly going on. But now close to D day, her look is amazing,.
      Trump always looks professionally groomed.
      Being old ugly and poor I opt for the full mask, like we see in the mission impossible movies.

      • I actually am not particularly proud of that comment, as I try not to judge people–particularly women– by appearances. However, as someone who became politically aware during the Clinton years, I have a somewhat unnatural enmity for that family and their continuous, unethical, if not outright criminal, antics. And the fact that this nimrod who has accomplished nothing by her own merit sees fit to knowingly LIE to young people really annoys me. I’m afraid I fell into my own abyss by making it about her homeliness.

        • You display a humanity not typically seenaround these parts, and put in a considerable effort into your posts and positions. To say that you are not proud of a post, or made a mistake or have now a different view, is worth it’s weight in gold, as it were, here, where decent into insult, and sarcasm is more the order of the day.
          I regret indulging in it at times.
          It’s bedtime.

  4. Yes, cannabis has been abused to distract from the Bush/CIA cocaine smuggling for too many years. The Reagan-Bush, Iran-Contra drug smuggling has been enlarged to include the poppy fields of Afghanistan, which have been guarded for several years by the U.S. Military. Continuing since the Viet Nam debacle, USAF vehicles and aircraft have been used to smuggle cocaine and heroine products into the U.S. As governor of Arkansas, William Clinton administered the Mena (CIA) airport leg of cocaine smuggling. For details, search on the phrase, what happened at Mena. To acquire a look at the main root of the problem, search the internet on the phrase, George H. W. Bush and pedophilia. A book by former OSS general, Russell S. Bowen, “The Immaculate Deception: the Bush Crime Family Exposed” also provides an insider view.

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