Proponents of the failed “War on Drugs” have long characterized marijuana as a “gateway” drug, meaning it opens the doors to use of heavier, more dangerous narcotics.
But now, a new drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles is touting cannabis as an “exit” drug – a way out of the prison of addiction. As Leafly reports, the center, called High Sobriety, does not focus on complete and total abstinence of all substances (the hard-line approach advocated by groups like Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step model programs). Instead, participants are encouraged to rely on marijuana as a means to cope with the difficulties of withdrawals and more. Although many treatment models staunchly discourage replacing one drug for another, that’s exactly what facilitators hope to do here. Marijuana, they say, is much less threatening than the harder drugs like heroin, cocaine and prescription narcotics for which the cannabis serves as a substitute.
The facility and its treatment model are quite new, but there is a high likelihood we’ll see more of these centers crop up if there are continued success stories. Although medicinal marijuana has been available in California for those with certain debilitating medical conditions since the 1990s, those in the treatment center won’t need a prescription, so long as they are over 21, thanks to the passage of Prop. 64 last year. Continue reading