For much of recent history, one of the key arguments voiced by cannabis critics all over the world has been that of how pot is apparently a dangerous gateway drug. Or in other words, those who use cannabis in any way, shape or form are statistically more likely to begin experimenting with more dangerous and potentially deadly drugs. This, despite the fact that every study carried out into this specific subject has found this not to be the case at all. And when the DEA itself is forced to remove nonsensical propaganda from its own website with regard to cannabis being a gateway drug, you pretty much have all the confirmation you need that such claims are pure BS.
Interestingly however, the same most certainly cannot be said for synthetic cannabis. Whether you are based in the United Kingdom or the US, you can’t possibly have missed the headlines concerning the absolutely vile stuff that’s blighting city streets all over the place. Known in most circles as Spice or K2, synthetic cannabis represents everything the real cannabis never has been and never will be. It is dangerously addictive, potentially fatal, linked with violent criminal behaviour and has now been found to be a dangerous gateway drug.
According to results of a new study carried out at the University of Texas, those who experiment with synthetic cannabis are considerably more likely to experiment with more dangerous drugs than those who consume regular cannabis. The study examined a number of specifics, reaching the conclusion that synthetic cannabis users are statistically more likely to have used and abused alcohol, heroin and ecstasy. Not only this, but those who use or have used synthetic cannabis are also more likely to end up in situations that put them at risk of physical harm, or of sparking violent incidents themselves.
Heather Clayton, the lead author of the study, said during an interview with LiveScience that the evidence seems to suggest conventional cannabis represents a significantly safer option than synthetic cannabis in all its forms.
'The findings illustrate a dramatic difference in the association with risky health behaviours by type of marijuana use,’ she said.
'We found that students who used synthetic marijuana had a significantly greater likelihood of engaging in the majority of health-risk behaviours included in the study compared to students who used marijuana only.'
Just when authorities started to believe they were getting a handle on the problem, along comes another epidemic to show just how severe things really are. In the United Kingdom, an exceptionally strong version of synthetic cannabis being referred to as “Frozen Spice” is making its way onto the streets in vast quantities – to such an extent that homeless communities in certain cities are being compared with ‘The Walking Dead’. Though previously considered a relatively harmless legal high, such substances are proving to be just as, if not even more terrifying than many of the harder drugs blighting the same communities.
Speaking with reporters, some of those who have found their lives largely destroyed by substances like Frozen Spice have spoken of addiction and associated withdrawal side effects that are vastly more severe than those associated with heroin. Having intended to try synthetic cannabis just once, many have found themselves hopelessly addicted to a substance that even the combined medical and scientific communities still do not know a great deal about.
Once again therefore, the advice issued by experts across the board is simple and universal. Every batch of synthetic cannabis represents a game of Russian Roulette you choose to play with both your health and your life – all with the promise of absolutely nothing positive in return, even if you win.