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Dr. Benjamin Carson appeared on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren to bemoan the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Carson descended into a “Reefer Madness” worthy rant declaring pot to be a “gateway drug” despite all evidence to contrary.

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Carson is a medical doctor, but managed to miss out on the fact that scientists long ago had abandoned the idea that marijuana use causes people to try other drugs. A report commissioned by congress from the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences concluded the following:

Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.

In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.

Carson fears the rise of “hedonistic activity” resulting from people enjoying sovereignty over their own lives and bodies.

About The Author

Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen is the founder of The Libertarian Republic, as well as the CEO of Stonegait LLC. Formerly an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano's show "Freedom Watch", on the Fox Business Network. Austin was referred to by the Judge as "The right side of my brain". He built Judge Napolitano's social networks with over 700,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. Austin graduated from Missouri State University. He has written and produced award winning plays and videos, and previously worked for the Libertarian National Committee and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

  • Sounds like he’s getting ready to run for office

    • voncile fullwood

      he is and will make a good one

      • Joe Clam

        No, he will NOT make a good one. He is a statist, like all the rest.

      • Mac Horne

        voncile, what are you? A Republican shill?

        • Joe Clam

          Republicans are statists too, just like democrats and just as bad. I’m a libertarian. I don’t expect you to understand what that is, but feel free to prove me right by trying to define it anyway.

  • Austin Finke

    Is it just me, or would anyone else like to see more of the girl in the picture?

    • Joe Clam

      I’m on the image search for that as we speak Austin…

  • Jed Allen

    Liar ! Liar ! Pants on fire !

  • Joanna Miller

    This is the one time I totally disagree with Carson. What leads to drug use is drinking, but no one seems to address this. There have been many studies showing that the use of pot for medical reasons is better than what the drug companies who have paid most politicians to keep it illegal do. I am a cancer survivor, and had pot been legal here in Virginia I would have smoked it before ever taking a painkiller. If you have not figured it out why pot is still illegal one has to look NO further than the drug companies who would lose billions if it was legal across the country. This is about money not safety, had it been about what’s better for us, pot would have been legal years ago and that is a fact, but instead the drug companies pay our politicians to keep it illegal by feathering those pockets to keep their supporters in office. I respect Dr. Carson and for the most part have agreed with a lot of what he stands for, this time however I do not. I haven’t smoked pot in 20 years or more but given the choice between pain killers I have had to take over pot for my cancer I would smoke pot in a New York second. It’s about time voters stop letting those we elect with the promise of doing their job instead of feathering their pockets at the expense of us. Drinking is far more dangerous than pot, the drugs that the drug companies give us is far more dangerous than pot, yet those are legal and until we stand up and vote the idiots out of office who continue to keep pot illegal because of the billions involved nothing will change. No one addresses the fact that drinking is the first step to drugs and not pot, that taking the drugs given to us by the drug companies is far more dangerous to us than pot and stop the paid politician from sticking it to us, nothing will change.

  • Jock Doubleday

    Pre-crime on steroids.

  • movie_doc

    Marijuana is a gateway to illegal drugs where it is illegal. It is safer than tobacco or alcohol. The entire war on drugs is anti-libertarian.

    • voncile fullwood

      In truth it is all bad,all do bad things to you

      • Joe Clam

        so does alcohol. Wanna make that illegal too? AGAIN? How’d that work last time?? STFU, you’re an imbecile.

        • voncile fullwood

          the imbecile is the one who is doing all the stupid have your opinion and I have mine that is suppose to be called freedom of choice,as to what little we have left

          • Joe Clam

            If you truly believed in freedom of choice you would support legalizing drugs. You don’t. And you support a (potential) candidate who doesn’t. Case closed

          • voncile fullwood

            I believe in freedom of choice to a point,but anything that may be harmful to the body is to where I disagree,drugs across America has become a problem, drinking is a problem,eating to much is a big problem,killing babies has become a problem that is human life,snorting cocaine,men having sex with men has become a problem and the whole world has become a sickening problem.anything else you want me to add?

          • Brian Lewis

            Dr. Ben Carson, I presume?

          • While we’re at it why not we ban guns? Guns kill people so why not? That’s statist talk. The greatest enemy to the individual is government. If government gets involved with daily aspects of our lives then freedom diminishes.

          • Joe Clam

            Yeah, add one more thing: YOU’RE a problem…. because you’re a bigoted imbecile who believes for every problem there’s a law just waiting to be passed that’ll solve it. You can go now.

          • voncile fullwood

            the problems start with a Libertarian name Joe,that keeps mess like this going and taking the name of the Lord in vain.and a problems like we have with morons like Libertarians who thinks like Obama and his clowns who wants to take away the laws we already have and making new ones to suit their agenda can’t not be straighten out until we are free from the evil

          • Tannim

            Ignorance, statism, and the mental illness of codependency on government IS the evil we need to be free of. Sorry you’re so deep into the cult of statism that you can’t see that..

          • Shut up and read

            Enough already and CLAIMING to be a Christian. How did Joe take the lords name in vain?! As Christians we are to tell people what we know, and what God tells us that the bible says, not what a so called preacher says it means. So we tell the sinner what they are doing that is a sin, but you better expect to get hit right back by them pointing out your sins… We all sin, you are no better. So you point it out, and then DROP IT! You love everyone as Christ does, not when you choose, or who you think deserves it. As for marijuana, apparently, you DID NOT read the good book. There is NOTHING in the bible about marijuana being bad, however there is a limitation regarding alcohol. Whatever God created is good… CORRECT?! So, if you read Gen 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat… Yes, people smoke it instead of eating it… But there is NO OTHER reference in the bible about seed bearing plants, and that it’s bad. Maybe if you would read the good book, and let God tell you what it means, and not listen to what MAN translates it to be.

          • Tannim

            OK, Voncile, then we expect you to call for bans on GMOs, pharamceuticals, botox (pathogen), cancer, AIDS, tobacco, alcohol, sugar, MSG, nitrates, water (drowning!), and ignorance (like yours).

          • voncile fullwood

            Ignorance comes only from morons who don’t have the guts to stand up for what is right

          • Tannim

            Wrong. Ignorance comes from lack of or inconsistency in knowledge. Once one has their knowledge straight, then they have the ability to stand up for what is morally and ethically correct AND be able to back it up with facts and reason.

            Problem is, most people are ignorant and as such take stands that are indefensible and crumble under rational scrutiny. That includes you, as was pointed out above.

          • voncile fullwood

            My knowledge comes from God where does yours come from?and if you had so much of it then you would realize all these things are against God so since you don’t have knowledge and man teaching you and oh by way Carson learned his knowledge from God the best teacher he could ever have that taught him right from wrong end of story

          • Tannim

            Based on what you write here, you need professional and spiritual help, and a whole bunch of knowledge.

            My knowledge, is that which you know little to nothing about, and therefore you cannot make any proper judgment of whatsoever (see Jn 7:24). (how Christian of you to judge, BTW, see Mt 7:1)

            My knowledge is based in science and fact and reason that exist in this world and its reality, not blind faith and irrational dogma that is based in ignorance and fear about trying to reach another world that may not exist and has zero empirical proof of its existence whatsoever..

            Put it to you this way, from a PGK:

            1. Both Carson and you are basing your position on fear and ignorance. There is a mountain of science from around the world that explains the effects of cannabis, both medical and recreational, and ALL of it (that was properly done with the scientific method and not had a predetermined outcome from politics or money) destroy your position. Where fact meets faith, fact wins. That’s how the world works, whether you like it or not.

            2. With any drug, legal or not, plant or chemical, if a person becomes addicted to it and that addiction causes them to harm others, then that person is responsible for those actions just as they are for all of their own actions for anything and everything else. It is not the role of government to legislate behavior beyond administering justice when someone else is harmed, and any prohibition of any based not on actual harm done to someone else but on potential harm to someone else not done is NOT the role of government. IOW, each individual is responsible for their own behavior and is responsible for respecting both themselves and each other (Mt 19:17-19). The free will God gave us demands absolutely no less from each of us.

            3. By your own beliefs, God gave us all freedom of choice (free will), so who are you (or Carson) to use a machination of man (government) to go against that and deny it to God’s creation? Is that not the very essence of sin, to go against God’s will?

            4. By your own beliefs, God created all things, including cannabis, including its effects, and according to your own beliefs, God (Gn 1:29) gave man dominion over all of the plants, including cannabis. Again, who are you (or Carson) to use a machination of man (government) to go against that to sin, to
            go against God’s will?

            The only way that #’s 3 and 4 above can be justified as not going against God is if the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was a cannabis plant and not a tree, (assuming that entire story is true and not a fable to bamboozle small minds), and that claim needs conclusive scientific proof that nobody, including you, has.

          • Sir you sound more like the Taliban and Muslims that want Sharia law than a libertarian.

          • AZsnipe

            ” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
            [1:28] God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
            [1:29] God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
            [1:30] And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

            “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; That tells me, If I believe in the Bible, that God gave us all the plants on the earth…….That includes Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, and all their hybrids….does it not?

          • voncile fullwood

            can’t speak for you..but I know my life and what it stands for and what the Bible stands for and that is all I need to know…whatever you do you will answer for it and whatever I do I will answer for it and I have a Judge who will do the Judging of my life reguardless of whatever your opinion maybe and I think my knowledge surrounds all of your’s because it comes from God above…end of story I want argue about the word of God

  • Thelemic Waves

    Another instance where I disagree that The Libertarian Republic represents Libertarian views. This article promotes government largesse in places the government shouldn’t exist.

    • mythbuster1207

      If you read the article, I think you would realize The Libertarian Republic was not agreeing with Dr. Carson

      • Thelemic Waves

        oops. must have read it wrong. (I don’t know, I was pretty high at the time)

    • How in the world could you get the impression that the website was advocating for government largesse anywhere in the article?

  • Christopher Robert

    Im dont smoke it and Im not against people freely making their own decisions, (think it should be legalized and taxed and made available for medical purposes) but I would like to point out that Obama smoked pot and did cocaine for many years and is now in charge of our country, and has been running it into the ground, and how many people still voted for him, TWICE!? Think about that for a minute….

    So in conclusion, marijuana is a gateway drug to stupidity in voting for Obama. Got it. Dont do drugs kids, your government overlords thank you for your meaningless votes.

    • Tannim

      There are many stupid people who vote for statists that are clean and sober. It’s not the drugs–it’s the ignorance.

  • Someone tell Ben Carson:

    The Bible is “Gateway Drug” And reading it is “Descent Into Delusional Thoughts and Activities.”

    • Tannim

      Yup. See also Voncile Fullwood above.

  • Joe Clam

    Well, this is one, big, goddamn let-down. I was convincing myself this guy was actually a libertarian of Ron Paul caliber, but now …*POOF*… my illusions are shattered. Doesn’t matter now what else he believes, about anything. He believes in prohibition. He’s just another statist. This is a sad day. I had wild dreams of a (Judge) Napolitano/Carson ticket taking the nation by storm in 2016 and literally saving the country, and the world. Not now. That dream is dead. if Carson runs on his own, I’m sure he’ll get endorsement from the DEA. Damn….. I’m going back to bed…. Wake me when this nightmare is over.

  • Jeff S Turner

    Yes Dr. Ben I think you should be able to buy marijuana and a gun also. Even an oozie…..It’s called Liberty…..Look it up…….

  • Mark Kindred

    Not that it makes much difference, but I think he said “heathenistic”. If so, even funnier.

  • Fonte

    Please youtube the documentary “Run from the Cure” on Marijuana curing cancer.

  • John Ash

    “You know, before, I used to be all messed up on drugs, but since I’ve found the Lord, now, I’m all messed up on the Lord.”

  • John Ash

    It is a shame that his medical degree can’t overpower his religious beliefs.

  • Skip

    Life, liberty and property. Your body is your property. You own it. If
    he advocates to what you can and cannot put into your own body, he
    basically says you don’t own your own body. Kind of like the seat belt
    laws that don’t make sense. You must wear a seat belt, but yet you still
    can operate a motorcycle (which doesn’t have seat belts) and is
    inherently more dangerous than driving in a vehicle. Explain that one to

    • Shut up and read

      Your actually right. You can have an abortion, but not have pot. Kind of messed up, but you do have a point.

  • OkiePC

    If it is a gateway drug, and I agree, but to what extent I am not sure, then why not put the legal barrier in the middle of the bridge?

    Once 30 percent of our youth have broken the law, they are across that bridge, and past any guilt knowing they are already criminals. And they are right there next to dealers who have the hard stuff too.

  • John W. Shreve

    Two sides, same coin. Most people who smoke weed don’t go on to more serious drugs.
    But most people on hard drugs started on marijuana.

  • Whatt Nowe

    None of you fucking idiots are libertarians. Otherwise whether or not it was a ‘gateway drug’ wouldn’t be relevant, dummies!

  • Steve Pishner

    Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, none of these are gateway drugs. The ONLY gateway drug is your friends and peers. Once people get that through their heads then maybe assclowns like Dr Ben Carson will stop spreading lies and this fucked up war on drugs will end.