Based on 20 years I worked with drug addicts, on the board of directors of a number of drug and alcohol programs in New York City. While 25 years I was in New York City as medical examiner, deputy medical examiner and then chief medical examiner, we did lots of autopsies on drug users, because we got a lot of autopsy findings in that regard. I was on the board of directors and worked closely interviewing and treating drug addicts, mostly heroin addicts and alcoholics, in different communities.
And all of them there was an issue about marijuana because even back 20 years ago, is marijuana the gateway drug to further and more severe drug abuse, which was the general feeling as far as the federal laws went.
And one of the things in talking to drug addicts and working with drug addicts, I found that marijuana did not play a significant role in their behavior except for one fact, and one fact is the significant fact was because it is illegal, the person in contact with the seller was also in contact with people who sold other drugs. They were more vulnerable to heroin, barbiturates and other things not because of their behavior, because they were in contact with people who sell illegal drugs and made them more vulnerable to it.
So in my opinion working with addicts clinically, as well as autopsy findings, I think that marijuana is not any worse than alcohol.